Gender inequity in the job promotion (glass ceiling effect) – focusing on the UK
Career progression are an important aspect of a worker’s career and life, affecting other facets of the work experience. However, there is universally gender inequity in the area of workplace job promotion. This research will focus on the gender inequity in the job promotion (glass ceiling effect) in the UK. Using secondary data from the ‘Full report- Women in the labour market was published by office for national statistics (UK) in 2013 and the interviews conducted by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) in 2011. This research demonstrates and reinforces the work of others in that there is glass ceiling effect in the UK now. The difference between males and females, sex roles of females, sex stereotypes and segregation in the UK are linked with gender inequality in the area of job promotion (glass ceiling effect).
This chapter introduces the research background of the present study. The first section is the background of the study. Next, the specific research objectives of this study are discussed. Finally, the organization and chapter structure of this thesis is explained.
Job promotion is the advancement of an employee within a company position or job tasks (Blau and DeVaro 2007). Job promotion may be the result of an employee’s proactive pursuit of a higher ranking or as a reward by employers for good performance. Typically, it is also associated with a higher rate of pay or financial bonus. Promotions are an important aspect of a worker’s career and life, affecting other facets of the work experience (Cobb-Clark, 2006). Therefore, it is important to ensure gender equality in job promotion.
To illustrate the importance of gender equality in job promotion, there are many laws to protect it, such as The Law on Gender Equality set up by United nations in 2006. However, the proportion of women in managerial position is also low compared with their male counterparts, which reflect gender inequality in job promotion (Schuh et al, 2014; Cuadrado et al, 2015). For example, in Spin, only 6.7% of decision-making position and approximately 11.4% of highest-ranking corporate board are allocated to women (Instituto de la Mujer, 2012; Cuadrado et al, 2015). According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in 2015, jobs such as human resource management, PR and communication are almost entirely dominated by females. However, women are a much smaller minority in functional areas such as finance, research, operations, and general management. Focusing on middle management roles, the ILO – in its recent report ‘Women in Business and Management: Gaining Momentum’ – refers to an equal 50:50 gender split. Female CEOs of publicly listed companies however, number less than five per cent in OECD countries, and 2.8 per cent in the European Union. A large number of empirical studies abroad demonstrate that there is a higher degree of inequality in organizational authority and promotion opportunities between the two sexes. Especially when women are promoted to the organization, they are often faced with many intangible, man-made obstacles, which Washington concludes as the glass ceiling effect (David,2001). In addition, a comparative study of seven major European and American countries, suggests that, despite a certain degree of country differences, women generally have more difficulty in accessing supervisory and decision-making positions than men (David, 2001). Washington thought when women are promoted within the organization, they are often faced with many intangible, man-made obstacles (David,2001). He named this the ‘glass ceiling effect’.
Birdlike was of the opinion that women’s investment in human capital (education level, work experience, working time and energy investment) is lower than men therefore leading to fewer chances of job promotion than their male counterparts. Bates thought gender (sex) segregation in the job is an important factor affecting gender inequality in the advancement in job promotion. Employees are engaged in different types of occupations or positions due to gender differences, resulting in significant inequality in the distribution of jobs between men and women, often referred to as occupational gender segregation (Bates, 2006).
It is obvious that there is gender inequality in the job promotion activities in other countries such as America. However, Britain is the originator of feminism. In 1792, Marry noted that male and female should have the equality right. In addition, there are many queens in the history of the UK. According to the report of Sharon in 2015, women comprise 60 per cent of junior managers, 40 per cent of middle managers. It is questionable whether there is gender inequality in access to job positions and advancement (glass ceiling effect) in the UK now. If glass ceiling effect exist in the UK now, why does it occur? The aim and objectives of this study a are discussed below.
The Aim of this study is to examine whether there is gender inequality in access to job positions and advancement (glass ceiling effect) in the UK today
The 3 key objectives are:
1 To critically evaluate theories raised by others in a literature review, which are used to explain biological gender difference (glass ceiling effect) in career advancement
2 To consider current issues regarding gender equality in job promotion (glass ceiling effect) in the UK using data from Office for national statistics, and the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM)
3 To find which factors are linked with gender differences in job promotion in the UK.
This dissertation is divided into 5 parts. The first chapter is the introduction, which includes the background and objectives of the study. Chapter 2 is the literature review providing various theoretical and empirical studies about gender difference in job promotion (the glass ceiling effect). Depending on these studies, the author will use the data to examine whether there is gender inequity in job promotion. If it exists, the author would analyze reasons of gender difference in job promotion (glass ceiling effect). Chapter 3 explains the overall methodology and data selected in detailed. In chapter 4, empirical results and analysis are expected to examine the reasons of gender difference in job promotion in the UK now. Lastly, section 5 offers some concluding remarks.. Now, the author would illustrate other theoretical and empirical studies about gender difference in job promotion (glass ceiling effect) in the below literature review.
Pigors and Myers (1964) defined ‘job promotion as the advancement of an employee to a better job-better in terms of greater responsibilities, more prestige or status, greater skill and especially, increased rate of pay or salary.’ Kosteas thought job promotion was an important aspect of employee’s career management as it affects the work attitude, job performance and satisfaction of employees (Kosteas 2011). When employees are promoted there may be an increase in the sense of identity and affiliation among employee (Kosteas 2011). Job promotion could be used as a tool by companies to reward employees who are highly productive workers (Brown, 2008). Job promotion would create an incentive for workers to exert greater effort (Kosteas, 2011). In addition, Susan (2013) noted that only when the employees place significant value on job promotion, then the job promotion could be used as a tool to encourage employees to put more effort into their work. More wages would be more effective and popular among employees to reward their effort and productivity. Job promotion often leads to an increase in job amenities and authority, which is the reason why employee value job promotion. Susan also thought job promotion would give chance employees a chance to realize their own value (Susan 2013).
Experience and ability in work are two decisive factors affecting employees job promotion. However, there are two problems about job promotion. Firstly, how to get the balance between the experience and ability. Second, how to measure employee ability at work. Companies often use staffs’ past performance as q tool to measure their ability. However, the Peter principle concluded that the selection of a candidate for a position is based on the candidate’s performance in their current role, rather than on their abilities relevant to the intended role’ (Peter. 1969). Thus, only when the employees cannot not perform well in their work, the company may stop promoting the employees.
There are some other factors affecting access to job positions and the advancement in the job such as gender difference. Though most companies claimed they treat mena and women equally as far as promotion is concerned there are huge differences between biological males and females in their access to job opportunities and career advancement. A large number of foreign empirical studies abroad demonstrate that there is a high degree of inequality in organizational authority and promotion opportunities between the two sexes. For example, in Spain, only 6.7% of decision-making position and approximately 11.4% of highest-ranking corporate board are distributed to women (Instituto de la Mujer, 2012; Cuadrado et al, 2015). According to Hausmann et al. (2010), female accounts for 14% in top managerial roles and 22% in parliament respectively in UK. In China, 22% of women believe that there is serious gender discrimination in the employment process, 25% believe that there is a serious gender inequality in promotion, the proportion of men were 14% and 18%, respectively (Zhilian.2017). At the same time, 44% of women said that they have never been promoted when they had taken part in the research. Wright carried out a comparative study of seven major European and American countries, suggesting that, despite a certain degree of country differences, women generally have more difficulty in accessing supervisory and decision-making positions than men (Wright1995). There are also some studies that focus on an industry or organization, such as Granqvist, who analyzed gender differences in employee mobility in the Swedish retail industry (Granqvist, 2000). Joni (1996) made his studies focus on a US utility company and gender differences in promotion within English financial organizations. There is a more specific perspective that it pays attention to gender inequality in job promotion in academia, which female have less chance of promotion and outcome in academic.
Therefore, the author put forward the hypothesis that when women are promoted in the organization, they are often faced with many intangible, man-made obstacles, which Washington concludes as glass ceiling effect (Washington, 1995). The glass ceiling is the invisible barrier that prevents women and minorities from rising to the highest ranks in a corporation (Wiley, 2012). The metaphor was first coined by feminists in reference to barriers in the careers of high-achieving women (John 2012). In the USA, sometimes the concept not only refers to obstacle to the promotion of minority women, but also could be used to describe the obstacle to the job promotion for minority men (Washington, 1955). Minority women have more difficulty in breaking the glass ceiling than others, because they belong to both traditionally vulnerable groups-women and coloured people (Ashgate, 2011).
The glass ceiling effect is always used to describe the fact that women can see the higher position and have the ability to take the role of leaders but they could not reach them because of invisible barriers (Davies, 1995). The glass ceiling is considered as discrimination which is done on the basis of gender, limiting women to inferiority and harassment by society (Hester, 2007). Women and ethnic minorities could not achieve the most powerful, best development prospect and highest salary package job in the workplace.
Nevill (1990) concluded that the glass ceiling put obstacles for women to fill high-ranking positions and made women unlikely to become potential candidates for advancement. Cotte (2001) pointed out several typical characteristics of glass ceilings: gender differences rather than other individual differences; increasing in the career development process, more serious in the hierarchy than the lower level. There are some points to explain the causes of the glass ceiling effect. First, there is a natural exclusion for women in the informal network. In many organizations, informal contacts outside the workplace is a good way to make good relationship between the leaders and employee, but obviously, most women are excluded from these activities. Secondly, prejudice against women’s leadership is still common and deep. Thirdly, there are fewer paragon female leaders than male leaders in the work place. The most central feature of glass ceiling effect is that in the high-level of the organization, women have more difficult to obtain promotion opportunities.
There are 3 types of invisible barriers preventing women from promotion (Carter 2005). Internal Business Structural Barriers, Societal Barriers and Governmental Barriers. Internal Business barriers will be considered first
The internal business structure reflects the attitudes and conditions of business as a whole (Payne, 2005). The internal business structure barriers are not only caused by
the company, but also is linked to the attitudes of society. In diferent levels and departments of the same company, the glass ceiling may differ. Most researchers agree that glass ceiling effect is more obvious when women try to achieve the job
position beyond the general management level (Morrison, White, & Velsor, 1992). According to the Women in U.S. Corporate Leadership report, their seven-year exercise in monitoring women’s status has shown that women in corporate leadership are making steady but slow progress from a very low base (Catalyst Report). The most obvious internal business structure barriers are that the percentage of female managers is fewer than male managers. Another concern is that women will not have the same pay rate as men to be promoted to senior management positions (Neha 2013). Societal barriers will now be discussed.
Societal Barriers could be divided into 2 types barriers — the difference barrier and the supply barrier. The D=difference barrier is the conscious and unconscious prejudice and bias related to gender and ethnicity prejudice, or prejudging that someone is different and therefore less able to do the job. The difference barrier implies that individuals are perceived by social roles, expectations from society, gender-based stereotyping, and discrimination attitudes. The major differences that lead to discomfort are cultural, gender-based, and colour based differences. The supply barrier is related to opportunity, achievement, education level, and labor-force participation of women (U.S. Glass Ceiling Commission, 1995). The supply barrier refers to the lack of qualified women and minorities because of inequities in the nation’s educational system. In 1991, a U.S. Federal Glass Ceiling Commission study confirmed that women and minorities encountered considerable glass ceiling effects in their careers. The concept of equal opportunity is woven into the fabric of our society, but not always recognized. The Pipeline Theory shows that many women who have qualified applicants have to spend more time waiting to access to a leader position than men. The supply barriers do not only exist in the advance from the low position to managers, but also means that women are kept from some job positions (Miller, 2009). According to the report of women in the U.S. Hospitality Industry (Neha, 2011), 45% of participants though that there are differences in gender-status beliefs that negatively affect performance, while only 24% disagreed there was no obvious social barriers. The remaining 31% were neutral. This indicates that there are different perceptions about gender-status beliefs in our society.
The third type is the governmental barriers. Though, almost governments set up laws to outlaw sexual discrimination, however, the glass ceiling does exist . According to the U.S. Glass Ceiling Commission, there is a lack of vigorous and consistent monitoring and law enforcement. This means that those laws will not be effective and will eliminate the glass ceiling effect.
Naff (1994) has different opinions and categorized factors which have kept females from higher positions into 3 models. The first is human capital model. The human capital model points out that individual differences with regard to education, work experience, seniority, and other job-related capacities, which depend mostly on personal choices, lead to lack of women at top positions (Becker, 1985; Hakim, 1996; Naff, 1994). Human capital is a term popularized by Gary Becker, an economist from the University of Chicago, and Jacob Mincer that refers to the stock of knowledge, habits, social and personality attributes, including creativity, embodied in the ability to perform labour so as to produce economic value. Birdlike (1995) hold the point of view that women’s investment in human capital (education level, work experience, working time and energy investment) is lower than men. Wiswall (2014) indicated that although women in the UK now complete more college degrees than men, the distribution of college majors among college graduates remains unequal, with women about two-thirds as likely as men to major in business or science. Human capital differences mean that males have more job promotion than male. The male’s advantage in the promotion opportunity is the compensation for the cost of their human capital. This research suggests that human capital is widening rather than narrowing the gap between sexes. Therefore, the author thought that human capital model could explain why gender inequality occurs in job arrangement and job promotion.
Of course, there is an alternative position, which argue that even if men and women have equal human capital, their still exists a gap in their promotion opportunities (Pekkarinen,1991). His empirical study of metal workers show that work tasks are complete consistent and almost no gender-based job efficiency differences between the women and men, but women’s promotion opportunities are still far behind men. In addition, with more women investing much in their education and job training, the human capital approach has not convincing in explaining why females take fewer occupancy of top positions than men. (Newman,1993). The human capital approach explained that women have trouble in achieving management positions because they chose to stay in lower positions (Becker, 1985; Hakim, 1996). In other words, women tend to be less committed to their career and therefore invest less in their human capital (Becker, 1985; Hakim, 1996). The critics of the human capital approach have indiacted that women’s choices are from men’s because the social construct of gender impacts on women. (Lips, 2013). Lips (2013) noted that employers’ preferences and gender stereotypic views or negative anticipations over women may constrain women’s choice
In contrast, the socio-psychological model and the systemic mode are different from the human capital model. They consider that women have less advancement chances because of the gender discrimination in employment. Though women invest the same or more in human capital, they may also have trouble to get to the top positions. The sociopsychological model notes that psychosocial factors such as sex roles and sex stereotypes are the key factors which set strong blocks to women’s advancement to top job positions (Newman, 1993). In the traditional culture, Women’s responsibilities are in supporting their husband and children. In other words, society expect women to play supporting roles rather than supervising or leading roles. Furthermore, women’s traditional sex roles have created the preconception that women may not to be qualified for management and leadership positions. The systemic model focuses on systematic barriers in organizational policies and practices that prevent women having the access to top positions. Unequal opportunities and power relations of women and men may impede women from gaining access to important resources (e.g., informal and collegial networks, mentor networks) that may facilitate moving up to top positions (Newman, 1993).
Naff had the similar opinion with Neman. He noted women’s traditional sex roles define females’ reproductive and responsibilities as supporting their husband and children (Naff, 1994). The reproductive role and domestic responsibility such as dependent care, make women invest more time and effort in their family. It leads that if women want to seek for career promotion, they would invest extra social cost and suffer more burdens (Alkadry & Tower, 2011). All those restrict women’s ability to achieve top job positions because women have to invest more in social costs than males and they put their careers second, not willing to sacrifice their roles and responsibilities for their families (Noonan, 2001). For example, most females are not willing to accept job positions or promotions that need women to accept a geographical relocation (Naff, 1994). If women’s husbands have been promoted and have to relocate in another city, women would often follow their husbands, even give up their current job (Naff, 1994). Similarly, there was a debate about the “mommy track,” focusing on how women who seek to balance their family and career with help of family-friendly programs (e.g., parental leave and flexible work schedule) must sacrifice career advancement in the end (Schwartz 1989). Empirical evidence shows that females often suffer some kinds of career penalties such as lost opportunities for promotion and different work assignment upon returning to work, a “slowing down” of their career, or financial penalties leading to gender pay disparity (Catalyst, 1993; Hooks, 1989). For example, women who finish maternity leave and return to work almost do not have the chance to be promoted in next several years (Naff 1994). Naff also pointed that women employees who have children would have fewer chances of promotions than men and females without children. Moreover, when married women are promoted to managers, they are more likely to divorce their husbands and be single because females are overburdened and cannot get their balance between their family and work right (Alkadry,2008). Tower pointed that women who had be advanced to top positions often had fewer children than others (Tower, 2008). Depending on those, sex roles and responsibilities of females may lead to gender inequality in job arrangement and job promotion.
Women’s traditional sex roles also cause sex stereotypes which are defined as the negatively biased views on women’s competence as leaders (Wood, 2008). Though government set more laws to ensure gender equality and women attain higher education than before, few women could achieve top managerial positions or be leaders. Lyness and Heilman think it is caused by sex stereotypic views that women are less suited to decision-making positions and more to supportive and nurturing roles (Lyness & Heilman,2006). Even though, women are willing to sacrificing their family life for work, companies may prefer to give the advancement to men who have similar qualifications (Schwartz, 1989, p. 69). Sex stereotypes still remain at present and distort the images of working women in many different cultures. In the traditionally stereotypic perception, women’s roles are wives, mothers, and daughters, leading to women become supporters and followers of men (Tompkins, 1988). Becker studies suggest that the sex stereotypes of this female career development come from employers, employees and customers (Becker, 1957). In the economics of discrimination, it is difficult for employees to determine the level of productivity of a worker and the long-term potential of the enterprise in advance, they tend to use disadvantage of the women in the labour market as basis for judgments and obviously this way would make female at a disadvantage in the promotion and employment (Becker, 1957). Becker points out that even females spend the same amount of time in social work as males, women still need to put a lot of time and effort at home, which would set barriers to their career promotion (Becker, 1957). The economics of discrimination concluded that the traditional division of family roles determines the human capital investment and the difference of human capital investment between males and females form sex stereotypes (Becker, 1957). The conventional attributes of women—relation-orientation, modesty, passivity, and emotion—barely overlap the characteristics of leaders—achievement-orientation, assertiveness, risk-taking, physical strength, and charisma (Hansen, 2009; Wood, 2008). These sex stereotypic views about women set up many barriers for women to be promoted to managers and leaders and organizations often assume women not qualified and reliable for leadership positions. Some findings illustrated that even women in managerial positions received lower performance ratings than women in supportive jobs and their male counterparts, suggesting that management roles are still more strongly associated with the attributes of men than women (e.g., Eagly & Karau, 2002; Lyness & Heilman, 2006). To overcome sex stereotypes, “women have to prove through their dealing with people that they are competent and reliable while men are assumed to be competent” (Naff, 1994, p. 513). For instance, the survey of federal employees demonstrated that 55% of female respondents shared the view that women must outperform men to get promoted and 41% of men and 20% of women perceived that some women have been selected for promotion thanks to affirmative employment programs (Naff, 1994). Therefore, the author thought the sex stereotypic view about women is one of the reason of gender difference (inequality) in the career advancement.
Gender (sex) segregation in the job is considered to be an important factor affecting gender inequality. Employees are engaged in different types of occupations or positions due to gender differences, resulting in significant inequality in the distribution of jobs between men and women, often referred to as occupational gender segregation (Bates, 2006). For example, according to a census produced by the UK government’s skills training body, Skillset (2010), about 42 per cent of the UK ‘creative media industries’ workforce is female, compared with 46 per cent in UK industry as a whole. However, this masks a considerable disparity between industries, with very low levels of female representation in the interactive content (5 per cent) and game industries (6 per cent), high levels in industries such as book publishing (61 per cent female – the only subsector where female employment was above 50 per cent) and radio (47 per cent). It is obvious that it is difficult for females to entre those industries with very low levels of female representation. A large number of studies of gender wage differences have shown that the differences in wage are significantly reduced after controlling detailed occupational classification because women are more likely to enter the “feminine” occupation (women occupy a higher proportion in the profession) and the labour remuneration of these occupations is often lower than the proportion of occupation which men occupy the majority. China scholars have noted that occupational segregation is indeed the main determinant of gender differences in urban workers in China (Xiaogang, 2009). Gender (sex) segregation in the job also caused masculine organizational culture in those industries which has high level of male representation. Masculine organizational culture refers to organizational cultural norms and attitudes that exclude women from power, resources, and opportunities in the organization and maintain inequitable power relations between men and women (Connell, 2006). Strong masculine organizational cultures are huge obstacles for women to attain the top positions and chances of promotions. Though few women could enter the top level of organization, they would also be viewed as different from other leaders and it is hardly for women who are leaders to be recognized by their colleagues. In a study of gender segregation and management positions, Kanter noted that male managers prefer to work in a male-dominated occupational hierarchy and they would prefer to work in a way that protects male privileges and advantages (Kanter, 1977). It is obvious that women would have fewer chances and promotion in those jobs. Therefore, the writer put forward the hypothesis that gender (sex) segregation in the job could be considered to be an important factor affecting gender inequality.
From the employer’s point of view, the enterprise’s initial investment in staff is including general training and special training. Universal training refers to the skills gained through training in other companies are also very useful. In contrast, special training could not help employees improve skills which also be useful in other industries because most of women need to spend much time and effort in families. Women will interrupt their work during childbirth. This may result in women not accepting on-the-job training and other human capital investment activities. In addition, as leaders, they need to manage the organization and keep their orders consistent. However, women could ensure it during childbirth, which organization prefer male leaders. Employers are also more inclined to give training opportunities for men in order to achieve a more stable and sustained return. The author thought the lack of training for women is one reason why gender difference occurs in job promotion.
In sum, many researchers think there is gender inequity in job promotion (glass ceiling effect) and give some reasons to illustrate why it occurs. The author will try to make further analysis about gender inequality regarding the next chapter promotion Firstly, the next chapter would discuss the method and data used in the research.
The methodology section is used to describe the method applied in this study. It should answer how the data is collected and analyed (Howell, 2013). Therefore, this chapter will discuss the features of primary and secondary data, firstly. Depending on the features of the primary and secondary data, the author will choose secondary data for the development of this thesis. Then, types of research will be discussed, including Exploratory, Descriptive, Analytical and Predictive. Thirdly, the author will analyze the differences between qualitative and quantitative research approaches. Qualitative approaches would be used in this dissertation. Finally, the characteristics of the data and samples applied in this work would be presented. The limitation of the methodology used in this work will also be discussed.
Data collection plays an important role in the research and all information collected and can be divided into two categories- primary and secondary data. Allen defined primary data as the firsthand data which is collected by the researcher himself (Allen, 2017). Primary data is gathered by the researchers firstly, specifically for the subject which the researchers want to study (Rob 2014). Primary data requires the researcher invest manpower and funds in gathering data by observations, questionnaire, personal interview, etc. Therefore, the production and analysis of primary data can be expensive. Kitchin concluded the advantages of primary data as specific accurate and reliable (Kitchin, 2014).
Secondary data is known as data which have been collected by others for some other purpose (Bishop, 2007). Raw data and those published summaries are both included in secondary data. Lewis concluded government publications, and professional books, journal and articles as available and reliable sources of secondary data (Lewis, 2015). Secondary data have some advantages compared with primary data. Its process of collecting of data quick and easy as it is from other researchers. If the researcher chose secondary date, he could save much time and money (Saunders, 2015). Of course, secondary data has some disadvantages, as it is collected by others for their purposes other than the problem discussed in the author’s research, so it should be careful to choose the secondary data, to ensure its relevance and accuracy to the researchers own work (Lewis, 2015).
The author chose using secondary data to support the discussion because as the student, the author does not have much time and investment to collect data by himself. This research wants to discuss whether gender inequity in the job promotion (glass ceiling effect) in the UK and why it occurs, it need a lot samples. Therefore, it is difficult for the author to use primary data. In addition, the brief for this thesis advises to use only secondary data. For the purposes of this work, the author used secondary data from the Office for national statistics, and the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM). See below for the exact date of the sample in the paragraph- the sample of the research.
The type of research considered will now be explored
Research can be divided into four types- exploratory research, descriptive research, analytical research and Predictive research (Yang, 2007). Exploratory research is the kind of research, which is used to obtain the initial impression of the problem, and look for patterns, hypotheses or ideas that can be tested and will form the basis for further research. This type of research in the situation which there is the lack of previous research about the problem and the relationship between the variables are not clear (Yang, 2007). Descriptive research refers to the study for the correct description of the characteristics or the whole picture of the subject (Lewis,2015). Its task is to collect information, discover the situation, provide information, and from the rules and characteristics of the phenomenon. The focus is characteristics of the phenomenon, rather than why this phenomenon exists (Lewis,2015). It collected data mainly by questionnaires and used statistical method to deal with those data. In contrast, Analytical research often extends the Descriptive approach to suggest or explain why or how something is happening, e.g. underlying causes of industrial action (Yang, 2007). An important feature of this type of research is in locating and identifying the different factors (or variables) involved. However, analytical research is always difficult than others because the notion of causality should be treated warily, since an apparent correlation between two variables may in fact be due to the presence of a third variable which was not examined by the study (Chisnall,2005).
There is little research focusing on glass ceiling effect in the UK, the relationship between the variables are not clear. Therefore, it is difficult for the author to examine each factor in the glass ceiling effect in the UK. As a result, the author decided to a combination of exploratory and descriptive research. Descriptive research is used to examine whether there is gender inequality in job promotion in the UK. In addition, the author tried to use the data from Office for national statistics, and the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) to find which factors is linked to this phenomenon.
The emphasis on Quantitative research is on collecting and analysing numerical data; it concentrates on measuring the scale, range, frequency etc. of phenomena (Yang, 2007). The objective of quantitative research is to develop and employ mathematical models, theories and hypotheses pertaining to phenomena. Though, it is usually highly detailed and structured, however, this type of research is harder to design initially (Olivier,2015). In contrast, Qualitative research is more subjective in nature than Quantitative research and involves examining and reflecting on the less tangible aspects of a research subject, e.g. values, attitudes, perceptions (Yang, 2007).
In order to achieve the aims of the research noted in the introduction and it is difficult to design the model to find each factors’ roles in the phenomenon, the author decided to mainly use qualitative research. Firstly, the author would analyze the data from Office for national statistics in its report –‘Women in the labour market’ and used Line graphs and histograms to illustrate there is gender inequality in job promotion in the UK. Then the author would use the interviews conducted by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) to discuss which factors are related to gender inequality in job promotion in the UK now.
The data in ‘Full report- Women in the labour market’ was published by office for national statistics (UK) in 2013. The sample selected were workers aged 16 to 64 were in work in the UK. The scale of the sample in the interview conducted by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) is smaller. This interview was carried out during the December 2010 and January 2011 among ILM members. All members in the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) were invited to participate in this interview. Finally, 2,960 leaders and managers responded and took part. In addition, the gender ratio of the participants in this interview is almost equally, respectively male (49%) and female (51%).
This chapter discusses the method and the data used in the research. Then, in Chapter 4 the author will use date to examine whether there is gender inequity (glass ceiling effect) in job promotion in the UK now.
4.1Glass ceiling effect in the UK now
The author used the data in ‘Full report- Women in the labour market’ published by office for national statistics (UK) in 2013. Its’ sample were workers whereaged 16 to 64 were in work in the UK. Depending on the report. In April to June 2013, only 33% of the managers, directors and senior officials was women in the UK, compared with its figure was 34.8% in 2012. Though it was little higher than 33.5% in the European Union. Across the European Union as a whole, women were most prominent within the managerial occupation group in Latvia (45%) and Lithuania (41%). The country where women were least prominent as managers was Cyprus (16%). In the UK, men take up the majority of the high job positions, which means it is difficult for women to achieve higher job positions. In addition, the women occupy fewer share of the top 10% of earners compared with men. The reader could see the accurate value in the tablet 1. It is obvious the women would have more difficult to achieve higher positions with higher wages compared with males when they get old.
As the report said, in April to June 2013, around 13.4 million women aged 16 to 64 were in work (42% part-time) and 15.3 million men (12% part-time). The report also noted that, women comprise 60 per cent of junior managers, 40 per cent of middle managers. The number of women workers was not a smaller proportion than male workers. However, according to the above discussion, men take up the majority of the high job positions. This suggests that although women may did not have too many difficulties to access to the low level job position, but women would hardly to achieve higher job positions and be promoted. In other word, there is gender inequity in job promotion (glass ceiling effect) in the UK now.
In another report conducted by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), nearly 3,000 managers were surveyed for the report, Ambition and Gender at Work, which reveals that over a third of women (36%) feel that their gender has hindered their career progression. This figure rises to almost half (44%) among those women over the age of 45. It reflected that when women got old, their gender set more barriers for them to be promoted. In addition, a recent study by Grant Thornton, an accountancy firm led by a woman, showed that companies with women on their boards perform better. The UK is estimated to have missed out on investment returns worth £49bn, or 3% of GDP, because of the lack of women in senior roles.
Depending on the data in ‘Full report- Women in the labor market’ published by office for national statistics (UK) in 2013, 44% of women in work were graduates who had achieved a qualification that was above an A-level standard, for example having a degree or higher education qualification. There is often a link between the qualifications required to do a job and the skill level of a job, with higher skilled jobs requiring a higher level of qualification.
Focusing on graduates, aged 22 and above, and looking at the skill level of their jobs, a slightly higher percentage of men (53%) were in high skill jobs than women (49%). At the other end of the skill scale, there were very few graduates in low skill jobs, just 4% of men and 3% of women. While 31% of men were employed in the second highest skill category of upper middle, 21% of women were employed in this category. As for everyone as a whole, including non-graduates, the main differences between men and women graduates were in the two middle job skill level groups of upper middle and lower middle.
Consequently, a higher percentage of female graduates (27%) compared with males (13%) worked in lower middle skill jobs with teaching assistants, care workers and home carers and administrative roles forming the top three jobs for women working in this skill level. More women than men were employed in lower middle skilled jobs despite employed female graduates tending to achieve just as strong degree results, with every three in five of those females (62%) with a degree or equivalent attaining a first or upper second class compared with 56% of men.
For non-graduates the difference in the two middle skill groups for men and women was much larger, with around 42% of male non-graduates employed in the upper middle group compared with 16% of women. Meanwhile 30% of men and the majority of female non-graduates, 61%, were employed in lower middle skilled jobs such as sales and retail assistants and care workers, home carers. There were a similar percentage of men and women in the lowest skill group but more nongraduates men (14%) were employed in the highest skill group than women (8%).
From these data, it was obvious that women were not recognized as skilled worker by employers and companies in the UK now. When women worked in middle or low skill level of job, their job did not require a higher level of qualification. It leaded that some women were not willing to invest too much to gain the higher level of qualification and improve their ability in their job. In contrast, those males in the high skill level group, they have to invest enough effort and time in human capital to gain the higher level of qualification and improve their ability in their job. Because there is often a link between the qualifications required to do a job and the skill level of a job, with higher skilled jobs requiring a higher level of qualification. More males are in the higher skilled jobs than women and they would invest enough effort and time in human capital to gain the higher level of qualification and improve their ability in their job. In addition, the company were more willing to provide chance of training to those in the higher skill jobs than those in the low skill jobs, which increased the gap of the human capital between males and females.
It was similar to Birdlike’s view, which women’s investment in human capital (education level, work experience, working time and energy investment) is lower than the male. In fact, the report also provided the data that full-time men worked on average 44 hours per week whilst full-time women worked 40 hours per week. In the UK, male working hours was 10% higher than women. The fewer working hours means that women put less effort at work, compared with males. It would also increase the gap of the human capital between males and females.
All these show that there was a big difference in the human capital between men and women, which expand the gap of working ability and experience between men and women. The experience and ability in the work are two decisive factors affecting employees job promotion (Susan 2013). In the UK, women put less in human capital than men, leading to women have disadvantages in work experience and ability. As a result, companies prefer to give chance of job promotion to men. Therefore, human capital differences led that male have more job promotion than female.