Effects Of Glass Ceiling On African American Women In Law Enforcement

Artificial barriers exists in almost every job setup limiting and denying women the opportunity to advance within their careers. These barriers range from cultural reasons, societal reasons, racial discrimination and gender biasness by those in position of power. White counterparts consider that AAW cannot rise to these higher management and executive ranks within the organization. Indications in law enforcement jobs illustrate that very few women can rise above supervisory positions. Discrimination against this factor make it hard for promotion of AAW and even hiring since those in position of hiring have consciously or unconsciously made themselves aware of this syndrome and they feel most comfortable. There have been cases of governmental barriers in Georgia against AAW where even the collection and disaggregation of employment data has been difficult. Lack of this information on government records indicates how the case of AAW in the law enforcement jobs has not been considered and given any priorities by the government. Gender inequality especially for AAW in the workplace is deeply ingrained and fueled by social expectations and social orientation. White domination especially men in law enforcement jobs has placed major obstacles in these departments which remain very difficult to break into the higher ranks of management. African American women over the past decades have been denied training in these agencies and lacked agency-sponsored opportunities for their networking and most adversely affected by traditional organization behaviors that perceived women as natural domestic workers. Glass ceiling has been rooted in most organizations including law enforcement agencies for a long period and regardless in changes in law to eliminate this form and factors that contribute to its existence, still it remains largely practiced.

Historical perspectives in times of depression indicate that discrimination in the workplace against AAW intensified with programs designed to suite men. The historical perspective considered that married AAW should not work outside their homes, which reduced the number of applications and hire. Influencing policies and decision-making in public realms reduced limiting opportunities for AAW and increasing systematic discrimination at the work place. Gender imbalance at the work place is perpetuated by men and even ensures that progressing of women is difficult.

The compensation of white employees, especially men at the same hierarchy is much higher than what the AAW is paid, even if she is more educated (Gregory, 2008). Dominance of sex-segregated characteristics and wage differential in law enforcement positions has placed men in better occupations and widened pay inequality regardless of Equal Pay Act of 1963. AAW have been turned into victims of pervasive, institutionalized, systematic discrimination in employment and directed towards low status occupations based on color. African American women have been considered as distrustful and hostile. AAW are intruding into all white men domain yet unable to physically perform necessary tasks. Women remain inferior to men. Regardless of the AAW who have managed to get into law enforcement and correction jobs, they have limited chance of gaining any recognition of their professional competence. The ploy by men and law enforcement agencies to have individuals with brute strength before employment eliminated most AAW. Therefore, law enforcement agencies remain the last of the organizations to accept AAW into various executive positions and reward their efforts through promotions in the hierarchy.

A variety of research shows that racial and gender bias at senior levels of corporate management centers around informal selection, recruitment practices and culture, task assignment salary decisions and performance evaluation. However, critical developmental assignments are not available for AAW and record keeping of their recruitment, retention, development experiences and subsequent promotions are lacking. Preconceptions where mangers are extremely reluctant in law enforcement to risking with women in line positions have been a major barrier to their advancement. Even the jobs are designed with white men in mind and hence lack careful career planned job assignments for AAW. The system has strived to entirely exclude from the informal channels of communications as perpetuated by counterproductive behaviors of male co-workers. Caucasian women experience less of these barriers and can be seen in positions better than those of AAW paying better salaries than Blacks at the same level. African American women therefore have lacked female models and their representation in management is very small hence, continually feel isolated. Regardless of legislative and regulatory efforts to effectively help AAW gain access to employment, they have not been able to successfully help advancement in executive leadership positions. Glass ceiling has been eliminated by various legislation; however, those in top management and facilitating discrimination have been in a position to make jobs that the pipeline theory. As it is stated, jobs provided for AAW within law enforcement can guarantee promotion. However, the steps needed to be followed in those positions take a long period to be able to rise in the hierarchy. This is done with an understanding that the span of women in employment is small hence would not be able to attain this positions.

The available interventions to eliminate glass ceiling in law enforcement jobs will require corporate leaders to be sensitive in areas that help worsen this situation. This can be through removal of cultural and environmental barriers in job settings, identification of those dimensions of corporate culture, which are barriers, increase good communication in retaining and promoting AAW, and most importantly eliminate attitudinal, cultural, and organizational barriers. There should be leadership development programs, which should emphasize on lateral moves and line experience and still at the same time, provide meaningful assignments not meant to barricade women from their chosen career.

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