females and the glass ceiling

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I intend to investigate the problem with female managers not having equal amount of

positions, respect and earnings that male managers receive at the same rank. I believe that this is

an important phenomenon to study because females have moved forward in the workplace and

have even earned a high position in companies. This number of women managers is also

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growing, “In 170, only .% of American managers were women; by 180, this figure had

grown t0 40.6% (Cetron, Lucken, McFadden, & Weir, 187)”,(Brett, Reilly, & Stroh, 1, p.

51). However, the few women that achieve a managerial position, receive less money the their

male CO-workers, “Given that equally productive females receive a lower wage than do males,

the result of choosing to practice discrimination against females is that costs are higher than need

be and profits are lower than need be (Jones, & Walsh, 11, p. 847).” My research will focus

on the problem that females are not seen as equals in the work place, and that they are

discriminated against in pay(economics), “Gender differences in salaries reflect women’s lower

status For every dollar earned by a male manger, a female manager earns only 66 cents (Powell,

1)”,(Riger, Stokes, & Sullivan, 15, p. 54), numbers that are employed and respect from

fellow workers and the public “People have described men as more like good managers than

women, and good managers as higher in stereotypical masculine traits than stereotypical

feminine traits (Powell, 188, p. 148)”, (Fremgen, Martinez, & Zeff, 14, p. 761)”. The few

women that achieve a managerial position, receive less money and respect than their male CO-

workers in the same rank. I think that this research question is an important phenomenon to be

studied because, women have come such a far way from the traditional role of the homemaker,

secretaries and operators to being in managerial positions and that they are just as capable as a

men in the same rank, and it is starting to show in the increase in female managers. “Our results

are also consistent with the view that the higher the level of managerial skill required in an

industry, the less discrimination there is against the employment of female managers (Jones, &

Walsh, 11, p. 846).” I plan to investigate a sample of these women in North America who

have made it into managerial positions and the discrimination against them in numbers, pay and

respect that males receive in the same position.

In the six scholarly sources that I read there were a number of questions that I believe are

relevant to my research question and that I could use in my study. These would make my

research question more clear and it would make my conclusion more accurate with the results.

“I believe that I can attain as high a level in the organization as anyone else (Fremgen, Martinez,

& Zeff, 14, p.758).” In this study, 6% of female respondents disagreed with this statement,

while none 0% of the males did. If this is the case in my research then, I will be able to conclude

that there is a discrimination against females with those results. “I believe there will be help

within my organization to advance my career (Fremgen, Martinez, & Zeff, 14, p. 758).” With

this question, 6% of males agreed strongly, and only 6% of females did. Moreover, 4% of

females disagreed strongly that they would receive no help at all. This means that they believe

that they are on their own to advance their careers, because of discrimination. I believe that if

these questions and a few others are asked in my research and are answered with the same are

close to the same percentage, that my research question will be answered.

Other researchers have used many different research methods, but the one that was

common to all researchers was the survey technique. They used all kinds of different samples of

people, in one case 10 male and female managers from 0 fortune 500 corporations (Brett,

Reilly, & Stroh, 1) and in another 6 male and 1 female managers (Fremgen, Martinez, &

Zeff, 14). They either mailed the intended group their survey, along with a letter that

explained that no one else would see their responses, and the company actually collected the

surveys from their homes. With this method there was a 67% response rate (Comer, 1).

Another type of method was an off-site managerial training session. In this 68 male

managers were selected by their company to go and receive this training. This was used by

Schein (17). Each subject received one of seven descriptive index, that consisted of

descriptions, that would measure sex role stereotypes and characteristics of successful middle

managers (Schein, 17). In this they also used a 5 point rating scale ranging from (1) not

characteristic and to (5) characteristic (Block, Heilmen, Martell, & Simon, 18). In all the

methods their procedures were the same, they gathered their targeted group of people, by

telephoning, mail or by selection. They asked the respondents to fill out a survey that was

always a 5 point rating scale, (5) strongly agreed and (1) strongly disagreed.

The data results suggest that these male managers were skeptical about women’s ability to

perform their jobs (Comber, 1). “Female managers and professionals lagged behind male

managers and professionals in a salary progression and geographic mobility, but not in

promotion rates. The good news is that the amount of variance uniquely explained by sex was

not large, % of the variance in salary progression, 1% of the variance in geographic mobility,

and no difference in promotion rate. Female salaries had increased 54%, male salaries increased

65%, women moved for their careers on average .4 times and men moved on average .70

times (Brett, Reilly, & Stroh, 1, p. 54).” “These results make clear that descriptions of

women in general are still fat less congruent with descriptions of successful managers than are

descriptions of men in general. In fact, our data is highly consistent with those obtained in the

Schein(17) study, indicating that there has been little change in the pattern of these differential

descriptions over the past decade(Block, Heilman, Martell, & Simon, 18, p. ).” The

reason why this problem has come to be is; “The labour market discrimination explanation is an

economic theory that assumes that relevant stakeholders-employers, customers, employees, and

so forth-have discriminatory tastes even when women or minorities are perfectly economic

substitutes for White men in the workplace(Becker, 157)”, (Morrison, & Von Glinow, 10, p.

0)”. Blau and Ferber (187) pointed out that employers with discriminatory tastes hire women

only at a wage discount large enough to compensate for the loss of utility or level of discomfort

associated with employing them(cited by Morrison, & Von Glinow, 10, p. 0).

Looking at all the data results, we must realize that even though women in management

have made many movements forward they are still behind male managers and males in general.

“Men are viewed as risk takers and as making better use of contacts. On the other hand, women

are perceived as being more emotional, detail-oriented, and helpful. The use of contacts (Zeff, &

Fremgen, 1) or risk taking are tied to attributions of effective managers, women may

continue to be hindered in these career paths. To the extent of being emotional, detailed-

oriented, and helpful are characteristics not associated with good management, women amy be

perceived as ineffective in management positions (Fremgen, Martinez, & Zeff, 14)”.

Moreover, “people have described men as more like good managers than women, and good

managers as higher in stereotypical masculine traits that stereotypical feminine traits (Powell,

188, p. 148)”, (Fremgen, Martinez, & Zeff, 14).The existing research relates to my research

question because, I like the past researchers am interested in finding out whether women in

management are really being discriminated against or not. I am planing to prove that they are

discriminated against, like these past researchers have done.

My research topic is “The few women that achieve managerial position, receive less

money and respect that their male CO-workers at the same rank”. This is a subject that must be

looked at studied, and hopefully proved. The reason why I say this is because if the question is

proved that females are being discriminated against, then there is a major issue that must be

changed. It must be changed because females with the same or better education as males are

then being discriminated against because of their sex, “Women with equal or better education

earn less on average than men(U.S. Bureau of the census, 187; Dipboye, 187; Olson & Frieze,

187; Roman, 10”, )(Brett, Reilly, & Stroh, 1, p. 51). It is just not right that females in

general are not getting the jobs that they deserve because someone has a problem working with

women, or whatever the case may be.

I intend to either do my research here or in Nova Scotia. The reason why I am not sure

which one I intend to chose is because, here it is a lot closer and it would be much more

accessible to research. But in Nova Scotia, my friends dad is high up in the management of CN

rail, and he said that if I needed help to come and see him. In either case I am going to use the

same methods in each one. First I will need to a population of people that I am going to use as

subjects. I am going to use a population of about 0-0 managers to do this study, am I going to

try to get 10-15 females and 10-15 males. To chose this population I would use a sampling

frame, I would ask for a list of the full managerial staff and than pick randomly pick from there.

Once I have chosen my 0-0 managers, I will use three different types of methods on

them. The first method that I will use is the survey or questionnaire. In this I will ask the

manager to fill this survey out without knowing their names so it may not impair their answers. I

will ask about 0 basic a,b,c,d questions, i.e.; Are you a male or female?, Your sex?, Years with

company?, Your annual pay?, Years in managerial position?… Once I have received the

responses I will go over them and then I will ask more direct questions about my research

problem, i.e.; Do you believe that you will receive any help in advancing in your career?, Do you

believe that you have a equal chance in progressing in your career as anyone else?… These

questionnaires will either be done in person and over the phone. I believe that this method will

take some time developing the questions and getting them to the targeted group and getting them

back. I do not believe that it will cost very much to undergo this particular method, it will be

time consuming.

Secondly, I will use the unobtrusive method. I will study different articles and books on

my research problem. The reason for this method is to see what other professional authors did

on this topic, and to see how they went about gathering their data and how they interpreted it.

This method will be time consuming as well, because of the research and all the readings I will

have to do. I believe that if I look at five to six different books and scholarly journals that it will

take me a fair amount of time. The cost will not be very large, the only thing that will probably

cost me something is the library card (which I already have), and the photocopying.

The final method will be the one that gives me the most information and probably trouble

and frustration. I will use the interview method for this. I will interview five to seven managers

in each sex (from the 0-0, these as well will be picked randomly), so ten to fourteen managers.

I will ask them different types of questions to try and prove that my research problem is correct.

This will be interesting to see how they respond when they are face to face with me, rather then

on the phone or just writing their answers. This is also a great method because I can also quote

these people if they give me their consent. This method will be time consuming, because I will

have to interview each individual and interpret the data for each one separately. This will most

likely be the most expensive one of the three. The transportation and the condiments in the

interview (drinks, donuts, something in that to make me look professional and serious). Overall

I do not believe that it will cost me very much. The reason why I chose three different methods

was because than I can receive data from many different levels, and see how the reaction is in a

face to face situation and see if the answers change from the survey method to the interview

method.

I plan to use many ethics in my study. With the participation method, it will be voluntary.

I will ask them if they are interested in participating or not. When I am explaining the research

to the subjects, I will be very honest with them. I will ask each on of them if they would like it

to be confidential or anonymity. This will be assured by when I am quoting, I will not use any

quotes from the confidential people and with the anonymity ones I will just not say who they are

or what company they come from.

The norms of ethical research that will be used are; Voluntary participation, I will only

take the ones that want to participate and I will make sure that no harm will come to them at all.

Guarding subjects identities, in this I will destroy all evidence of each subject when my research

is complete, so that no harm can come to them and that no research can be linked to them. This

can be done by replacing a subjects name by a identification number, i.e. John Smith could be

changed into subject number 1 or something to that extent. Respecting subjects privacy, this will

be avoided by meeting in an agreed place and only conducting the research when the subject is

aware. No spying or taking notes on them when they do not know that you are doing that.

Doing no harm to the participants, even if they are voluntary no harm will come to them. There

will be no deception in my research report that could bring mental or personal harm to them

(embarrassment at home or work, they might be threatened, and their self esteem will be

harmed). I intend to follow these ethical norms when I am conducting my research, because

otherwise my evidence would not be real. I would not liked to be tricked if I were in their

position.

Once I have collected all my data from my subjects, I will use many different types of

methods to analyze it. With my survey and questionnaires that will either be done over the

phone or in person I will use the coding technique. I will precode my answers and that will

make it easier to collect my data afterwards. If I can not precode my questions before the

subjects do them I will use a postcode method. Once I have collect all the coded data I am ready

to analyze it. This will be called data summary. In this I am going to use different graphs and

calculations to show the result of my research question. In the graphs I am going to use,

Histograms, correlation charts and scatterplots. In the calculations I will use medians, standard

deviations, five number summaries and percentages. I believe that with these calculations I will

be able to come out with a definite answer.

My research proposal has it’s fair share of strengths and weaknesses, but on a whole I

believe that it will come out with a definite answer. The strengths of my proposal are that it shall

not be a very expensive research (especially if the study is done in Montreal), because all of the

basic materials that are needed are close to home and there are many different and cheap ways of

reaching the desired area(s). The amount of subjects that I have selected for my research is not

to many or not too small. The idea of taking an even number of male and female managers will

give the research an unbiased conclusion. The three methods of obtaining the data is a strong

way of making sure that I receive data from all different levels and opinions. Instead of just

having an interview where the subject(s) might get nervous and not give a full answer to the

question, or not his/hers real answer at all. With the idea of the questionnaire on the phone and

in a survey, the participants may feel more secure and give their real opinions. And with the

guarantee that they will not be harmed, they will be kept confidential, not quoted (without

permission) and with the promise of the destruction of all evidence of the conferences that we

had and all the information that I have on each subject.

The weaknesses of my research proposal are that the subjects in the interview may not

want to give their real opinion on the subject even though they have agreed to do it. They also

might be nervous about the confidentiality of the interview, even with the promise that I will not

quote them without permission. They may be worried that I may be careless with the

information and not destroy it. They may be worried that it will cause them harm, either

embarrassment at home and work or their self esteem might be damaged.

If my research problem is proved correct, the results in the research community may be

that many more researchers put more time and money into this area. If it is proven that “The few

women that achieve a managerial position, receive less money and respect than their male CO-

workers in the same rank”, than researchers may start to realize that the discrimination against

women should be given more attention. And if this happens than you may see many more

students and older researchers going to companies and asking about the injustice that is being

done to all women in the workforce. And maybe then the discrimination towards female

managers will decrease more rapidly.



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