The glass ceiling: is it a state of mind?

Sheila Forbes, Tariq Durrani

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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Much is written in the literature and press about women having to break through the glass ceiling, but is there indeed any truth in this theory? For some women, working their way up the promotion ladder can be a challenge, but is it really as difficult as it is perceived?
It would be naïve to think that all women are as ambitious as to want to break through the glass ceiling, and indeed in certain categories of employment such as advertising and marketing, they do appear to have made their mark, but science, engineering and technology, do not seem to attract females in the same numbers. We would argue that this lack of advancement is not necessarily due to a lack of opportunity. This paper addresses the role of women in science, engineering, and technology, assessing the support mechanisms offered to them to succeed in their chosen occupations. The investigation identifies factors that have led to women achieving senior levels in higher education, business, and government in the UK, thus making it through the glass ceiling.
The methodology undertaken in this study includes, desk-based research, analysis of surveys, observations from literature search and surveys, and interviews/case studies of a number of prominent and internationally successful women; and final conclusions. All comprise the three components of the Triple Helix - influence of government through legislation, uptake in academia, and attendant support mechanisms, and impact in industry.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2011
EventTriple Helix IX: 9th International Conference "SIlicon Valley Global Modal or Unique Anomaly? - , United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Jul 201114 Jul 2011


ConferenceTriple Helix IX: 9th International Conference "SIlicon Valley Global Modal or Unique Anomaly?
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • state of mind
  • glass ceiling
  • women
  • science
  • engineering
  • technology
  • support mechanisms
  • promotion
  • career development


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