The Impact of Professional Development in breaking the Glass Ceiling Effect: A Case Study of City Gateway

December 30, 2016


The research is an attempt to understand the implications of glass-ceiling effect on working women. Glass-ceiling refers to those obstacles or difficulties which prevent women from assuming larger roles in business, or from ensuring effective career progression. With rising role being played by working women within organizations, conducting a research on the nature and influence of glass-ceiling effect was a crucial rationale. The objectives of the research was to understand the role which glass-ceiling effect plays in the professional career of a working women, the initiatives which individual employee takes to counter the impact of glass-ceiling effect and the factors which promote or strengthen the effect. Added to this, the research also explored the practices which organizations adopt to bring about a check on the glass-ceiling effect and its impacts.

A primary research based design was adopted where 40 working women were surveyed using questionnaire as the data collection tool. The participants were chosen based on a convenient sampling method. Both qualitative and quantitative data analysis techniques were adopted as the researcher intended to arrive at statistical and empirical conclusions on glass-ceiling effect and its impacts. Effective data analysis revealed that several individual factors like, lack of self-responsibility towards self-development, personal motivation to work, managing emotions along with the work pressure and ensuring sufficient qualifications for progression, are some of the areas which working women should take care of with respect to managing glass-ceiling effect. Additionally, family factors like, maintaining work-life balance, and time management etc. remain as some of the factors which contribute towards the glass-ceiling effect. Similarly, organizational factors like, encouraging women employees to take up larger roles, providing training and development opportunities etc. are some of the crucial steps which companies can take to counter glass-ceiling effect. The research findings also revealed a positive correlation between glass-ceiling effect and individual lack of motivation to work, fear of stress, lack of qualifications, and excessive self-satisfaction. Thus, the research recommends that individuals and organizations together need to take concrete steps towards countering the impact of glass-ceiling effect. Individuals should be aware of the needs of professional career development, high motivation and continuous learning. Organizations should also encourage workplace practices to promote learning and professional career development.





1.1 Introduction. 

1.2 Company overview- City gateway. 

1.3. Statement of the problem.. 

1.4 Aims and objectives of the research. 

1.5 Research questions. 

1.6 Significance of the research. 

1.7 Structure of the dissertation. 


2.1 Introduction. 

2.2 Obstacles to female career progression & development. 

2.3. The concept of glass ceiling. 

2.3.1 Social role and theory of identity. 

2.3.2. Glass ceiling signs in the organization. 

2.3.3. Why HRM needs to understand the glass ceiling. 

2.4 Professional development discussion. 

2.5 The role of employee (female) in professional development. 

2.5.1 Effects of professional development on glass ceiling. 

2.5.2 Overcoming the female career difficulty. 

2.6 Conclusion. 


3.1. Introduction. 

3.2 Research Philosophy. 

3.3 Research Approach. 

3.4 Qualitative and Quantitative data. 

3.4 Primary and Secondary Data. 

3.5 Data Collection Methods. 

3.6 Sampling Method. 

3.7 Data Analysis Plan. 

3.7 Reliability and validity of a research. 

3.8 Research ethics. 

3.9 limitation of the study. 

3.10 Conclusion. 


5.1 Introduction. 

5.1.1 Profile of respondents. 

5.2 Analysis of the responses from the contributors. 35

5.3 Conclusion. 


6.1 Conclusion. 

6.2 Recommendations. 

6.3 Reflection. 



Appendix 2. 


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