How Millennial Women are Breaking the Glass Ceiling

For the longest time, women were the stay at home moms, the cooks, the caretakers, the cleaners, and the givers. It wasn’t until women with dreams and ambitions changed the way the world saw us forever. We have continued to grow from there but still haven’t reached equality. We are still stuck at the bottom. However, I have hope that the Millennials will be the group to change that.

First of all, what’s the issue?

The Glass Ceiling

For those of you who don’t know the 1920s was the first time, women were able to work in the United States. We took the place of many men after they were sent off to war. Someone had to do the job, and it was us who had to do it. Since then many laws have been passed about the allowance of women workers. It wasn’t until the 1960s that we were allowed to have equal pay and working rights. However, this was never actually the case. Many women in large industries are still receiving lower pay. Women make about 20% less than men according to Institute for Women’s Policy Research and make about 80 cents for every dollar a man makes. Not only this but more men receive higher paying positions, and women are stuck under the glass ceiling. The glass ceiling isn’t a real ceiling of course (it would be a little strange if it were I’m sure). The glass ceiling is a barrier to entry that prevents women from obtaining fair and equal treatment including pay and job positions. To make matters worse, Trump repealed the Fair Pay and Safe Workplace Order made in 2014 by President Obama just recently according to an article by Vivian Kane of The Mary Sue.

However, my belief is that times are changing. Millennials are seeing the injustice and are standing up for what they believe in. We are a group of change and hope, equality, and fairness. I’ve seen it with my own eyes that we can be the change.

I interviewed several women and even got a male opinion to further show the compassion and knowledge of this subject and why it does matter. The interview was a series of 5 questions and interviewees were asked to answer with their opinions.

*Some answers have been cut down to simplify the statement.

the glass ceiling

Alex W. 21-year-old college student, Hannah D 24-year-old college graduate, Makayla college student, and Nick D 20-year-old college student.

What do you know about the “glass ceiling?”

“The term glass ceiling refers to the issue of women getting ahead, especially in the field of business. It is an invisible barrier that keeps women stuck at one stage while men tend to move forward, for no other reason other than they are men.” – Alex W

“It’s the barrier between the employment experience women have versus men. Women can see through it but are prevented from receiving the same pay, benefits, raises, etc. as men. The glass ceiling varies based on culture, ethnicity, and a variety of other diversity categories” – Hannah D.

“The glass ceiling is a barrier that affects how certain people, mainly women, and minorities, in the business world get paid or even promoted.” – Makayla

“Yes, it is an invisible barrier so to say when it comes to advancements in a profession for women or minorities” -Nick D.

This shows the exceptional rate at which millennial students know exactly what the glass ceiling is. It’s becoming more widely known as a topic and is even being taught in some classes on campus.

“How do you feel about women being in business and the workforce?”

“Women should be in business as well as any other industry, just as much as men. I think most people tend to think of men when they think about business. However, women are involved in business too.” – Alex W.

“I feel that their treatment varies based on the company and its culture…..For the most part, though, women seem to be kept in more entry level or simpler positions than men.  I feel that there has been a push for equality but our culture also does not encourage us to share our income with others, so it is difficult to determine when there is an unfair difference.” – Hannah D.

“I believe that more women are going into the workplace and business world because it’s enjoyable or they need to help support their families. My mom works two jobs.” -Makayla

“I believe women have just as much of a right to be in business as much as men.” – Nick D.

Even my opinion matches those of these responses. I believe more women should be in business because we have the capability to accomplish just as much as our male counterpart. But there is a stigma of women in business we need to break.

“Do you notice more or less backlash from students/people aged 20-30 toward women in business?”

“I don’t see any backlash. In fact, I think the current generation is more accepting and is fighting for equal rights, equal pay, etc.” – Alex W.

“I believe there is more acceptance from the 20-30 age group. The age group is also much more obsessed with money and having what they want when they want it than my parent’s generation. This creates a culture where women have to work. I think the older, more conservative group is more focused on women staying home and raising the children. They come from a time when one income was sufficient to raise a family.” – Hannah D.

“I’ve noticed that women seem to need to work harder and prove themselves more because of the stereotypes that “women shouldn’t work” or worse….”women can’t work”….” – Makayla

“I have not noticed any backlash. Even though I have been in very few business settings with both men and women, everyone is treated equally. However, if the backlash is to occur in the corporate world I feel it would come from  much older more “old school” individuals.” – Nick D.

This question was exceptionally important to me because I wanted to dig deeper into finding out if there was any backlash coming from the millennial age group. By the looks of it, the majority answer is no! Currently, women need to work harder, but when our age group finally takes higher company position, I think things will change.

“Do you see more women joining the business world? Or has it remained the same?”

“Yes! One of my best friends from high school is actually in college for business. I think women see the many opportunities within the business. Many women have the determination to create their own business as well.” – Alex W.

“I think women are forced into working regardless of where their interests lie because of how our society has changed economically. I believe that the fields they seek out have evolved over time and men have abandoned some areas because they have been stigmatized into being tracks suited for women. Pretty much everyone works now. The area that people work in is what truly varies.” – Hannah D.

“I see more women joining the workforce out of necessity for financial reasons or even a desire to do something that isn’t so typical of every woman.” – Makayla

“It is not remaining the same however it is a slow process more and more women being placed into hierarchy positions within businesses and I know more and more will come to life as time goes on” – Nick D.

The last question is “How do we solve this problem? What is one way you think women our age can help break the stereotype of women not being able to be in the business field?”

“Educating girls at a young age about the opportunities available to them in the business field. As a future teacher, I find it necessary to let my students know what they can do with their lives and education. I think showing girls what they can do with their career.” – Alex W

“I think open and honest communication is essential. People shouldn’t be afraid to share what their job pays. Sharing will help prevent people from being cheated out of pay and will help people find the best paying job in their area.” – Hannah D.

“I think that women are proving themselves already by working more. Women aren’t going to chip away and break the glass ceiling overnight. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. It’s just a little bit done at a time.” – Makayla

“By doing it. I feel women in businesses is more accepted every day. Individuals that use the excuse “it is too hard for women to make it in business” are just making up excuses to not try hard enough. Therefore those people do not deserve to make it in business” – Nick D.

Conclusion

My conclusion after conducting these interviews is that the millennials will be the ones the shatter the glass ceiling. In fact, it’s already breaking. I notice it myself more and more every day as more and more women make it to the top. It’ll take time, but soon enough we will rise to the top and stay there.

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About Chloe

Chloe is a San Antonio, TX native who loves margaritas and brunch almost as much as she loves reading a good book and a catching up on Empire. Learn more about Just a Girl in This World, click on the "About" tab in the main menu.

4 thoughts on “How Millennial Women are Breaking the Glass Ceiling

  1. I am disappointed with this article. I wish women who worked in corporate America would have been interviewed, to tell us what barriers, and glass ceilings they have broken. This article didn’t;t really tell us anything. The answers ran in circles, and seemed rush at some of them. Disappointed with this article

    1. It would have been nearly impossible to interview someone at the corporate level especially since the article was about college students and what they believe is the future. I didn’t want someone already in corporate because that’s the present. Not the future.

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