Unfortunately, the glass ceiling is still very much something older female models need to contend with. About 2.7 billion women around the world are restricted from what type of job they can have. Additionally, women are still making about 20% less than men. That said, the gap has been trending in the right direction over the last decade.
What Is the Glass Ceiling?
The term “Glass Ceiling” was coined in 1978 by two women reporters at the Wall Street Journal to describe the invisible barrier to women reaching top positions in corporate America. Today the definition has been expanded to include the barriers in place not just in corporate America but in other industries as well.
The glass ceiling is a barrier to undocumented discrimination that affects minorities, women, older female models, and other marginalized groups. It is fueled by race discrimination, ageism, gender discrimination, and LGBTQ discrimination.
Three Things You Don’t Know About the Glass Ceiling
First, things have gotten a lot better since the term was initially coined. Today, there are 64 female CEOs at Fortune 500 companies. They are not the first and they will not be the last. The first CEO was Anna Bissell from the Bissell Sweeping and Vacuum company, and she took the helm in 1889.
Second, don’t believe the hype. One of the arguments against the glass ceiling is that women do not ask for more at work so they do not get more. If that sounds a little like victim-blaming, it’s because it is. Women have been asking nicely for generations to be treated with respect, earn equal pay for equal work, and not be discriminated against based on their gender. Yet, the glass ceiling is still in place.
Third, confidence can be the biggest hammer. Smashing through the glass ceiling requires confidence and refusing to back down. Older female models do it all the time. As a matter of fact, older female models, break that ceiling regularly for the younger models coming up behind them.
Demanding respect and refusing to take anything less from an employer is vital for all of us to continue the upward motion that was started many years ago.