Above the glass ceiling? A comparison of matched samples of female and male executives

J Appl Psychol. 1997 Jun;82(3):359-75. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.82.3.359.


In this study the authors compare career and work experiences of executive women and men. Female (n = 51) and male (n = 56) financial services executives in comparable jobs were studied through archival information on organizational outcomes and career histories, and survey measures of work experiences. Similarities were found in several organizational outcomes, such as compensation, and many work attitudes. Important differences were found, however, with women having less authority, receiving fewer stock options, and having less international mobility than men. Women at the highest executive levels reported more obstacles than lower level women. The gender differences coupled with women's lower satisfaction with future career opportunities raise questions about whether women are truly above the glass ceiling or have come up against a 2nd, higher ceiling.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Career Mobility*
  • Female
  • Gender Identity*
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organizational Culture
  • Salaries and Fringe Benefits
  • Social Justice