Glass ceiling – what is it and is it still a reality?
According to the Oxford Dictionary, the “glass ceiling” is “an unofficially acknowledged barrier to advancement in a profession, especially affecting women and members of minorities.”
Glass Ceiling: Shattered Or Merely Cracked?
When she was younger, my daughter and I would often discuss money management, investment and the need to be mindful of our spending habits.
Women are for the most part the money managers of the household, despite what their male spouses might think. Women decide how much is the supermarket money and what will be spent on entertainment – after all the other high priority items have been paid.
High finance is not my thing. However, there are women who are more comfortable with high finance than they are with planning a dinner menu.
Why then are they not being encouraged, just like the “boys,” in the investment funding sector?
Studies have shown that while “more women in the United States are making their own investment decisions than ever before,” they are not necessarily the leaders of the money market around the world.
Women Locked Out
The author of the article on Morning Star, Laura Lutton, continued with this disappointing statement:
“Yet the ranks of professional money managers who are women remain exceedingly small. We examined the gender of U.S. open-end fund managers in our database and found that only 9% are women. Women exclusively run only 2% of assets under management in the $12.6 trillion U.S. open-end mutual fund universe.”
In six years, this has not changed much. Here is an excerpt from an article that updates this situation.
In the U.S., about 11% of fund managers are female, a percentage that has remained constant over the past 10 years. While the number of fund managers has increased over that same time period, the proportion of female to male managers has remained constant. This is lower than the 14% of global fund managers who are female, largely unchanged from 20 years ago.” Amrutha Alladi
Built By Sexism
Why is this so? Sexism. The big boys have locked themselves in – even the windows they are still trying to bar.
Many agree that the sky is now the limit for women. They say that the ceiling has been blown away and it is now up to women to make their way to the top. However, it is a winding road:
“A better metaphor for what confronts women in their careers is the term “labyrinth” because it “conveys the idea of a complex journey toward a goal worth striving for. Passage through a labyrinth is not simple or direct but requires persistence, awareness of one’s progress, and a careful analysis of the puzzles that lie ahead.”
That is how the ‘situation’ was described in a Forbes Magazine article, written by Lisa Quast.
Womanist, independent thinker and one who has no interest in funds management, I find much to agree with that labyrinth analogy. It is applicable as well to those of us who are playing on other fields – even this one of nonprofit, blogging or even chicken farming.
It’s Not Easy For Women, Still
“Suck it up precious, learn the road, get the lesson and use it to your benefit tomorrow.”
That was basically my prescription to my daughter as we discussed her supermarket and childcare budget.
An ingrained culture of any sort is hard to change but not impossible. If more of us stay the course without losing our voices and killing that of our sisters’ (a topic for another post) it might just in my granddaughters’ lifetime. So, if you are in the money business or any field where the labyrinth seems extremely winding and long, swallow the pill, follow the path, memorize the shortcuts and Speak Up!
Peace and Love,