Wednesday, December 31, 2003

The Glass Ceiling has Been Broken?

Or that's what the Washington Times would like us to believe. Quoting U.S. data from November 2003, the newspaper triumphantly (?) announced that women now constitute 50.6% of all workers in the occupational category that includes management, professional and related services.

What does this mean? According to the Washington Times:

"As a growing number [of women] move into upper management roles, those further down the ladder will reap the benefits by increasingly being targeted for advancement," said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

In other words, women have finally broken the glass ceiling! Yeah!

Really? Let's look at the raw data in more detail. The classification: Management, Professional and Related Services doesn't contain only managers. It also contains occupations such as librarians, educators and health care workers. I did some back-of-the-envelope calculations of women in various subcategories of this overall category, and here's what I found:

-women constitute 50.6% of the overall category
-but only roughly 37% of the subcategory management

The reason women are over half of the Management, Professional and Related Services is buried deep inside the Professional and Related Services subcategory:
-women constitute 60% of workers in community and social services
-and 74% of education, training and library services
-as well as roughly 72% of health care and associated technical services

So. Has the glass ceiling been broken? Are some conservatives who worry about this so-called development suffering from valid fears? Unfortunately, the answer is no.
Thanks for Pen-Elayne and AND THEN... for links.