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glass ceiling, women middle managers, Singapore, Malaysia
This study presents an overview of glass-ceiling type barriers in organizations based on the perceptions of a sample of Singaporean and Malaysian mid-level women managers. Previous studies indicated the existence of a glass ceiling in organizations and presented strategic recommendations with regard to what corporations could do to remove or reduce the glass ceiling. This study investigates how women in middle management perceive their career advancement opportunities and what they consider their organizations to be doing to support their advancement. Glass ceiling and informal structures in the organizations will be analyzed from the aspects of corporate climate, corporate practices, and corporate culture. The relevant questions are derived from the model developed by Bergman and Hallberg (2002). This study aims to answer whether there is a glass ceiling present in Singaporean and Malaysian companies and further make the comparative analysis of the results. The study begins with an introduction of the concept of a glass ceiling that prevents women from advancing, and then continues with previous studies on corporate climate, corporate practices and corporate culture, and data analysis of samples from Singaporean and Malaysian organizations. The findings show that women middle managers in both Singaporean and Malaysian organizations face a glass ceiling in their working environment which, for example, inhibits the promotion of female managers, and entails a barrier to the career development opportunities of women and entails that women do not have enough organizational support, including networking, mentoring, and family friendly initiatives.
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