A "Glass Ceiling" Study

A study by North Carolina University in the August edition of Social Problems entitled “Networks of Opportunity: Gender, Race and Job Leads,” shows that White males receive significantly more tips about job opportunities than white females or Hispanics – particularly among people in upper management positions.

The study surveyed 3,000 people and examined the amount of information people received about job opportunities through routine conversations without asking for it. The findings are extraordinary but not surprising. According to the study, 95 times out of 100, white men receive more (upper-management) job leads than white women or Hispanic men or women. Another key finding contends that white male supervisory advantage is preserved through exclusive access to job information as compared to White females and Hispanics. In regard to Hispanics:  “social capital deficit compared to white males—combined with their personal and employment characteristics—explains their lack of job leads” (Mcdonald, Lin, & Ao, 2009, p.396).

The study demonstrates how the under-representation of Hispanics, women, and other minorities in management and leadership positions has far reaching, as well as long-term, implications.

Source:  Mcdonald, S., Lin, N., & Ao, D.. (2009). Networks of Opportunity: Gender, Race, and Job Leads. Social Problems, 56(3), 385-402.