The Glass Ceiling Conundrum: Illusory belief or Barriers that impede Women’s Career Advancement in the Workplace.


  • Rahim Ajao Ganiyu Department of Business Administration University of Lagos
  • Akintunde Oluwafemi Department of Business Administration University of Lagos
  • Afolabi Abiodun Ademola Department of Management, University of Nsukka
  • Okikiola I Olatunji Department of Business Administration, Lagos City Polytechnic



Glass ceiling, Women Executives, Gender, Career advancement, Work life balance, Discrimination


Given the preponderance of women in the workforce, it remained a puzzle why the entry of women into higher managerial positions remains restricted and why the syndrome of ‘think manager think male is growing progressively? The objective of this paper is to examine the glass ceiling conundrum with a view of ascertain how it limits women’s career advancement in the workplace. Extensive review of literature was presented and discussed. The paper revealed that women are not making it to the very top of their career not as a result of lack of requisite qualifications, and experience etc.; but as a result of factors that are rooted in cultural, societal, organizational, individual and psychological factors that inhibit women career advancement.  Against the aforementioned background, the paper concludes that women advance marginally to certain level in corporate executive cadre, before they experience ‘glass ceiling’ that impedes their prospect of attaining senior executive position. Accordingly, women compared to men represent an insignificant fraction of those in managerial positions due to cultural prejudice, religion convictions, family related issues, individual and organizational influences. Similarly, inadequate opportunity to networks and seek sponsorship limits women progression to top managerial hierarchy. The study recommends the need to articulate policy frameworks that promote strong organizational culture and a more helpful and supportive environment to develop women leadership skills.  Similarly, there is need to promote sponsorship for women in a way and manner that safeguard the relationships between sponsors and protégés.


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Author Biography

Rahim Ajao Ganiyu, Department of Business Administration University of Lagos

Department of Business Administration University of Lagos (Research Scholar)


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How to Cite

Ganiyu, Rahim Ajao, Akintunde Oluwafemi, Afolabi Abiodun Ademola, and Okikiola I Olatunji. 2018. “The Glass Ceiling Conundrum: Illusory Belief or Barriers That Impede Women’s Career Advancement in the Workplace”. Journal of Evolutionary Studies in Business 3 (1):137-66.