Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Business Administration



First Advisor

Gareth S. Gardiner

Second Advisor

Joseph Ancona

Third Advisor

Laura DeRigne


This thesis is a review of the current literature that pertains to the everyday experiences of women in the male dominated working world. This study focuses on the barriers preventing women from advancing where men succeed.

When women enter the workforce, they are naïve about the organizational culture surrounding them. The natural feminine instincts and behaviors of women are not considered as valuable in the corporate world as male instincts and behaviors.

Women are unaware of the subtle and underlying rules of the corporate game in this "man's world." They see men adapting easily and advancing up the corporate ladder. But, women seem to lag behind as if they have an additional burden at each step along the way.

Women do not think, communicate, or behave like men. This is at the core of the burden women carry. This burden is also compounded by the ingrained perceptions and stereotypes of society as to what constitutes acceptable feminine behavior. These perceptions and stereotypes do not include leadership or effective management characteristics.

Women have been welcomed into the workforce, but they have not received equal pay, recognition, or opportunity for advancement as their male counterparts have. The progress of women has been blocked by the "glass ceiling," an invisible barrier that keeps women from advancing where men of comparable skills succeed.

Many researchers have examined issues relating to gender differences in the workplace. This research confirms the hypothesis of this study: The glass ceiling exists because of perceptions and stereotypes of gender differences. It prevents women from being accepted as equals in the male dominated business world.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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