glass ceiling

glass ceiling

Meaning

  • an unseen (glass) barrier for women and people who belong to minority groups in climbing up the corporate, political or the ladder of success regardless of whether they are qualified for the job
  • the end to which women can climb up on a figurative ladder

Example Sentences

  1. The woman made every attempt but could not break the highest and the toughest glass ceiling.
  2. I have reached the glass ceiling now and breaking out is the only way for me to proceed.

Origin

It is a new world, figurative phrase which came into existence when women had been liberated enough to come up on the corporate ladders but then would get stuck at the middle management level. The earliest use of the phrase in the literary form can be found from the year 1984, in an article which was written by Nora Frenkiel, and within the next decade it became quite popular. In 1994 the Daily Telegraph used the phrase for describing a financial instrument but it is still mostly used to show caps for women and the people in minorities. Hillary Clinton used the phrase after she lost the US presidential election in 2016 against the presidential candidate Donald Trump.

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