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What are Glass Ceilings?

Glass ceilings are commonly referred to as the impenetrable barrier, or a point in career responsibilities and roles, where women and minorities cannot advance past. The inability to get past this ceiling is caused by preexisting, unspoken perceptions within organizations and cultures.

Deaf and hard of hearing employees often face misperceptions or unofficial barriers that prevent advancement past a certain level in the work place, and into subsequent leadership positions. For example, of the 2,161 deaf people in Federal white collar positions only 4.8%=104 have been promoted to the GS-13 pay level or higher (Singleton, 2003). Beyond this level, only .007%=1 has been promoted into a senior executive leadership position.

What is Career Success?

Success is explained differently by different people, resulting in countless definitions. Some think in a more objective manner—e.g., defining success as the climbing of the corporate ladder (e.g., promotions to positions of increased responsibility, or higher salary levels. Others have veered towards subjective methods of thinking, and consider career success in terms of how much personal satisfaction they gain from what they do.

This project focuses on the different aspects and definitions of true career success. Career success for all includes one or more valuable components:

  • Promotions with greater responsibilities.
  • Increasing seniority while remaining in the same role over time.
  • Longevity with the company.
  • Higher salary levels.
  • Positive attitude and satisfaction gained from the position.
  • Personal satisfaction as an individual.

Success is dependent on effort. - Sophocles