Perceptions of the Glass Ceiling: An Assessment of Penn State Students' Opinion on Gender and Racial Barriers in Higher Level Career Positions

Open Access
Donovan, Kimberly Jane
Area of Honors:
Crime, Law, and Justice
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Laurie Katherine Scheuble, Thesis Supervisor
  • Stacy Silver, Honors Advisor
  • Key words: glass ceiling
  • gender
  • race
  • work
  • family
This research focuses on the presence of the glass ceiling by asking respondents to evaluate the job and family experiences of an individual with the same life story. The only thing that varied is whether the person in the vignette was male or female and Black or White. Race and sex differences in predicted reactions to seven of the job and family situations presented to the respondents. While respondents reported that a Black female is more likely than a White male to receive a job out of college in the career she prefers, Black females are also perceived to make significantly less money 20 years into their career than White males. Implications of the findings are discussed.