In the U.S., equality in the workplace continues to be an unattained goal. The “glass ceiling” refers to an impenetrable yet invisible barrier that keeps qualified individuals – who are part of a race or gender minority - from ascending to higher level positions in companies and organizations of all shapes and sizes, simply because of their race or gender.
Glass Ceiling Extends Beyond Gender
Traditionally, the term “glass ceiling” has been used to refer to discrimination against women, including women making less money than their male counterparts, and/or women having less or no access to promotions. However, we also recognize more now than ever that access to the top ranks of management in many companies and organizations is unfairly limited for both women and minorities.
Industries Where Glass Ceiling Discrimination is Prevalent
In some workplaces, the glass ceiling is shown by the lack of female or racial minority representation in the senior management ranks and/or by a history of never having women or minorities in certain positions of authority. In other cases, a statistical analysis of the companies hiring and promotion practices as well as comparisons with other employees can demonstrate that a glass ceiling exists. There are certain industries, which have been traditionally dominated by Caucasian males in senior leadership, where career stagnation for women and minorities is more common. Such industries include: healthcare (including hospitals, HMOs, medical offices and clinics), professional and financial services, manufacturing and technology companies, and colleges and universities.
Recognizing Glass Ceiling Discrimination
Glass ceiling discrimination can take many forms, some of which are more subtle than others, but which still have the effect of impairing career progression. The following are some examples of the behaviors or actions that can constitute glass ceiling discrimination:
- Being denied promotions despite having the required qualifications and strong job performance;
- Being exposed to demeaning or degrading comments because of race or gender;
- Being excluded from meetings or communication strings where key information about the department or company is shared;
- Being excluded from leadership training or other opportunities for leadership experience;
- Being transferred or experiencing a territory change with no explanation;
- Being deprived of resources necessary for job success;
- Being subjected to a reassignment of job duties to a male or Caucasian peer; or
- Being deprived of high visibility or valuable accounts
Addressing Glass Ceiling Discrimination
Outten & Golden attorneys combat glass ceiling discrimination prevalent in corporate America through both individual and class action cases to ensure that women and minorities in the workplace have an equal opportunity for advancement. Individuals who have encountered the unlawful barriers that help men or Caucasians succeed, but which stymie the advancement of women and minorities in some companies, can fight back with our help. Outten & Golden attorneys represent such individuals in “glass ceiling” discrimination claims in diverse industries, both in individual lawsuits and class-wide litigation.
Gender and race equality in the workplace is an American ideal that sometimes has to be forced on recalcitrant companies. Often, class litigation is the most powerful and effective weapon to compel employers to revamp their policies and strip away gender and race stereotypes, sex and race discrimination, and unfair practices that hinder the success of their female and minority employees.
Contact Glass Ceiling Discrimination Lawyers
Outten & Golden has successfully prosecuted large glass ceiling discrimination cases against major corporations, including recouping the losses suffered by current and former female employees while ensuring that future employees will not encounter artificial and unlawful obstacles to their advancement.*
If you believe you have been subjected to a glass ceiling or other types of sex or race discrimination in the workplace, please contact the firm through the ”Contact Us" form or by calling us in the New York, San Francisco or Washington, DC office (see bottom of page for phone numbers) to begin the Outten & Golden intake process.
(*Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.)