If the Ceiling Fits : A Study into the glass ceiling for women in senior management positions in the top 1000 Irish Companies as named in the Irish Times List 2015

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Ryan, Carla
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MBA in Human Resource Management
Dublin Business School
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This research project will examine the perception of the glass ceiling in Irish companies today, it will look into some of the barriers including, maternity/paternity leave, tokenism, education vs experience and the gender pay gap. The research took a sample of companies from The Irish Times List of Top 1000 Companies 2015. 1. Literature Review The literature review gives an overview of the evolution of the glass ceiling, and the development of the glass cliffs and walls. It then identifies some barriers that have prevented women from progressing to senior positions. These barriers can include Maternity/Paternity Leave which encompasses spousal support, childcare facilities and a mentoring program for women. The barrier of education vs experience investigates women’s progression rates within companies, work ethic and attitudes to working long hours. The barrier of Tokenism is looked at, if women feel the need to prove their qualifications and not a show of diversity. The gender pay gap is a tricky subject to tackle but it is an important aspect for women to break the ceiling. Finally the benefits for both employees and the company of breaking the glass ceiling is discussed. 2. Methodology This chapter discusses the reasons why in-depth interviews were chosen and why the companies were chosen. 3. Data Analysis This chapter discusses the findings from the 13 in-depth interviews from a range of companies and sectors investigated, including a stay at home mum and a mum who chose to go back to work and her partner stay at home. 4. Conclusions and Recommendations This chapter discusses the idea of a glass maze and how it is women’s choice how their career progresses. It gives some recommendations to make it easier for women who have family commitments can continue to work, or gain access back into the work force if that is their choice. Author keywords: Glass Ceiling, Diversity