To read this content please select one of the options below:

Lebanese perceptions of the glass ceiling

Mayssa Rishani (Lebanese American University (LAU), Beirut, Lebanon)
Mohamad Mallah (Lebanese American University (LAU), Beirut, Lebanon)
Sarwat Houssami (Lebanese American University (LAU), Beirut, Lebanon)
Hussein Ismail (Department of Management Studies, Lebanese American University (LAU), Beirut, Lebanon)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

ISSN: 2040-7149

Article publication date: 16 November 2015




The purpose of this paper is to present insights regarding the barriers that prevent women in Lebanon reaching parity with men in senior leadership positions. The paper also portrays men and women’s varying perceptions regarding these barriers.


A total of 129 participants at a Lebanese university took part in the study. The data collected were analyzed using SPSS. Frequencies and χ2-tests were conducted.


The findings suggest that women are more likely to be discriminated against and are thus more likely to be underrepresented in top leadership positions. Organizational and cultural barriers were considered to cause this discrimination. Women were more likely than men to believe that women face more barriers while climbing the career ladder. Men were more likely than women to believe that organizations are the parties responsible for this underrepresentation, more so than the surrounding culture. Surprisingly, a sound proportion of women believed that men are more competent at occupying top management positions in Lebanon.


This is one of the few studies to explore Lebanese perceptions on the workplace’s glass ceiling. Further, it examines the differences in opinions between males and females on women in the workplace, which has not been previously studied. This research contributes further to the existing body of knowledge on women in management in Lebanon and the Middle Eastern region, which is generally small in quantity.



The authors would like to thank Dr F. Jordan Srour for her invaluable comments on an earlier version of this work.


Rishani, M., Mallah, M., Houssami, S. and Ismail, H. (2015), "Lebanese perceptions of the glass ceiling", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 34 No. 8, pp. 678-691.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles