The idea of a glass ceiling for women in management describes a theoretical barrier that all women who seek advancement to the highest echelons face. Five women above the glass ceiling and five women just below it Q sorted statements from personal interviews pertaining to career development experiences and barriers they might have encountered. Five factors were found, partially supporting propositions that participants would be grouped according to their positions above or below the glass ceiling and demographic characteristics such as age and number of children. Three themes defined factor membership via the Q sorts: perceptions of discrimination and other barriers; desire to become a C.E.O., and having had mentors or role models. In general, the women already above the glass ceiling reported less discrimination, and stronger desire to become a C.E.O., than the women below. Mentors/role models was a weaker differentiating theme. Results suggest there is more than one path to career success. Research should be extended to include comparisons with men who are above and just below the glass ceiling.

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Journal Operant Subjectivity
James Slavet, & D. Anthony Butterfield. (1999). Women's Career Advancement and the Glass Ceiling in the Financial Services Industry. Operant Subjectivity, 23(1), 9–30. doi:10.15133/j.os.1999.007