Glass ceilings: Organizational by-product or an individual's deficiency?

If research by ISR consultants (I couldn't source their original press release or actual findings through a web search - update: you can find it here) is to be believed, then, women are still finding it difficult to break through the glass ceiling. Of most concern is the belief that women are being excluded from organizational life, i.e. marginalised from high-level decision-making. One reason for exclusion suggests many women felt they did not give their best, or that they could not speak up if they lacked confidence in decisions made by others.

The article - Female managers 'squeezed out' (BBC News) - unsurprisngly, does not go into any great depth or breadth, but what concerns me the most is the use of the term "organizational life"; as if organization have a life of their own and no-one is to blame if organizations produce something beyond the purpose they were initially designed to serve. In other words, organizational (or instutionalised) sexism, racism, ageism, etc. are often portrayed as being accidental by-products of formal organizational objectives, or heavily related to the problems that individuals need to sort out for themselves. I believe much more needs to be done to make organizations accountable for everything they create and an end to blaming organizational ills on individuals who contributed little or even nothing to their subjectivity.

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