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Break on Through to the Other Side of the Glass Ceiling

Hamid R. Tavakolian (Department of Management, California State University, Fullerton, California 92634–9480, USA.)

Equal Opportunities International

ISSN: 0261-0159

Article publication date: 1 June 1993



A legendary and very successful Madison Avenue adman, David Ogilvy, was once quoted as saying, “The consumer is not a moron, she is your wife” (Landler, 1992). This type of statement was commonplace twenty to thirty years ago and summed up the sentiments of what was believed by many to be women's contribution to society ‐ going shopping for the family. While this statement may have had some truth to it decades ago, the perception as to where women stand in our society have evolved immensely. Today, women are not only the consumers to which marketing is directed, they are the ones implementing the marketing and running the companies. One example of this evolution of women's role in the work place is that of Jill Barad. She climbed through the ranks of Mattel Inc., headed the very successful Barbie division, and later became president of Mattel in 1990 (Schine, 1992). Another success story worth mentioning is that of Joan Lappin who is president of Gramercy Capital Management Corporation. Lappin fought her way through the male‐dominated investment world of Wall Street to become one of the most respected money makers in the industry (Marcial, 1992). While these two success stories, along with countless numbers of similar stories, are encouraging for women, still, they do not represent the norm with regard to women's ability to climb up the corporate ladder. Biases, prejudices, and downright discrimination have created what some have termed a “glass ceiling”. Therefore, we need to ask whether or not women have the same opportunities as men in rising through the ranks with respect to both promotions and pay, or whether their efforts are being thwarted by this so‐called glass ceiling?


Tavakolian, H.R. (1993), "Break on Through to the Other Side of the Glass Ceiling", Equal Opportunities International, Vol. 12 No. 6, pp. 14-20.




Copyright © 1993, MCB UP Limited