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Study: Women Create ‘Their Own Glass Ceiling’

Study: Women Create ‘Their Own Glass Ceiling’

Associated Press

“I was very, very surprised by his responses,” she said. “I guess that I just didn’t think that he thought that highly of me, even though I thought pretty highly of myself.”

The exercise was a confidence booster, Walker said. Now, she takes five minutes during weekly meetings with her supervisor to discuss what she’s done on the job, something she thinks men do more easily than women.

“To me it’s still uncomfortable to a certain degree,” she said. “We’re not out for the glory kind of thing. We’re just out to get the job done.”

Walker said her experience also reflected the generational difference found in the study.

Younger women tended not to be as off-base in their predictions than middle-aged or senior women,” Taylor said.

Taylor said managers may need to learn better ways to communicate to female employees that they are valued. Women may need to learn how to better seek positive and critical feedback, he said.

Taylor says the findings could indicate why many women don’t rise to head companies or why there is a wage disparity between men and women.

In 2008, the Census Bureau estimated women receive only about 78 cents for every dollar that men get for doing equivalent jobs.

Bonnie Coffey, president of the National Association of Commissions for Women, said women are unable to predict their bosses’ assessments because of media images, particularly those of older women, that show them as silver-haired beauties or grandmothers in dumpy dresses.

“If you recognize that society doesn’t really value older women, then you say, ‘Gee, this isn’t where I belong. Maybe I shouldn’t be asking for a raise. Maybe I shouldn’t be speaking up at meetings,” Coffey said.

Cara Waymire, vice president for human resources at insurance brokerage Hub International in Albuquerque, said when she works with female employees on getting raises or promotions, she notices they are more likely to focus on shortcomings rather than accomplishments.

“They think the boss needs to think they hung the moon in order for them to ask for anything,” Waymire said.