How do we shatter the glass ceiling?
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In a recent WaPo article, writer Shankar Vedantam confirms that it helps all female workers when women get hired in high-ranking management positions.
Covering the conclusions of a new Montreal sociology study, Vedentam notes that American women "earn substantially more money and narrow the long-standing gender gap in income if other women in their workplaces reach the ranks of senior management."
Interesting stuff, non? The study, based on 1.3 million American workers in nearly 30,000 jobs and 79 metropolitan areas, confirms that when women break through the proverbial glass ceiling, it sweetens the pot for other female employees.
The piece also reveals that even within the same industry or a single company, women workers are, generally, not equally represented in high- and low-profile divisions. As Cynthia Fuchs Epstein, a sociologist at CUNY, summarizes in the article, "one reason men are more likely to reach upper management, is that the express elevators to the top -- high-profile jobs -- tend to be filled with men, whereas the elevators that stop at more floors along the way tend to be filled with women."
I'm not so sure about the elevator reference, but the study is certainly food for thought; an indication that, even if we disagree with their politics (Hi, Hillary and Condi!) it's a boon for American women when female politicans are elected to high-ranking positions.
Laura Barcella is AlterNet's associate editor.