Glass escalator

The term ” glass escalator ” was introduced by Christine L. Williams in her research “The Glass Escalator: Hidden Advantages for Men in the” Female “Profession” [1] published in August of 1992. The glass escalator refers to the way men, namely, heterosexual white men, are more likely to dominate sex-segregated occupations. It is most present in lower levels of the profession. This idea is a parallel to the popular idea of ​​the glass ceiling , where women face advancement in the workplace.

Types of jobs

If the career is women-dominated, men assume leadership positions at higher rates than women. When considering men in women-dominated professions, the four professions are reviewed for teaching, nursing, social work, and librarianship. These professions are sex-segregated and have much higher percentages of women working. Although these occupations have been more prevalent in the past few decades, they have been sexually segregated and are mostly employed by women. Williams does not care that it is rare to find jobs where men and women have equal representation at the same job level.

Often, in these jobs when they are hired they are fast tracked to higher positions in roles of administration and leadership. This happens even when the men had little intention of wanting these roles when applying and interviewing for their job. Christine L. Williams suggests that “As if we have a moving escalator, they must work to stay in place,” [1] suggesting that their leadership will be reduced to unavoidable. In addition to it being inevitable, they are often forced to take over these roles. It is suggested that these features are more important than feminine characteristics associated with womenhood.

Negative aspects

Despite many of these advantages, they also face some negative aspects. In Christine L. William’s research, she is a young woman who has had a good relationship with the family, and has had a good relationship with the family. well as the sometimes-negative connotation of men working with children. [1] This was a similar experience for other people. No matter what the profession was, the men were talking about getting more feminine aspects of their career and more men side of it.

Black men in nursing

The experience of riding the glass escalator is one of the most frequently experienced by heterosexual white men. This can be seen when looking at men in nursing . In fact, they tend to receive discrimination. Adia Harvey Wingfield discusses this in her research entitled “Racializing the Glass Escalator: Reconsidering Men’s Experiences with Women’s Work”. [2] Harvey Wingfield attributes black men’s experience in nursing to gendered racism .

While many men who enter into a nursing home, they are often asked to make up their minds. [2] This experience is not shared by black men in nursing. Harvey Wingfield suggests that this is due to the social construct of black men being farmed as threats to white women. Their higher ups can be treated as a negative stereotype about black men. They also find it useful in their career because they are viewed as less qualified; while white men nurses may be confused by patients to be doctors

Men in teaching

Men in teaching have been known to ride the escalator into school administrative positions. Andrew J. Cognard-Black examines the experience of men in teaching in “Riding the Glass Escalator to the Principal Office: Sex-Atypical Work Among Token in the United States”. [3] Cognard-Black notes that at the beginning of the 1990s, 28% of teachers were men. [3] Through his research he found that he had a much greater chance of advancing upward into school administrative positions.

Transgender and gay men [4]

Another important area to look at is transmen and gay men. In an increasingly progressive era, there is a greater presence of the transgender community and their experiences with the glass escalator should be examined. It seems to be necessary to conform to heteronormative appearances and behavior. If they conform they can excel into leadership positions. Those who do not have a chance at the glass escalator. Transmen who presented as male could receive male benefits after transitioning only if they presented as masculine enough. If they were not enough they were likely face discrimination. Williams concludes that “Only those who embody the appropriate class-based aesthetic can ride the glass escalator”. [2]It should be appreciated that this type of affect is not present in all jobs. Williams notes that working dead-end jobs like retail often offer very little luck for upward mobility.


  1. ^ Jump up to:c Williams, Christine (Aug 1992). “The Glass Escalator: Hidden Advantages for Men in the” Female “Professions”. Social Problems . 39 : 253-267.
  2. ^ Jump up to:c Wingfield, AH (2009). “Racializing the Glass Escalator: Reconsidering Men’s Experiences with Women’s Work”. Gender & Society . 23 (1): 5-26. doi : 10.1177 / 0891243208323054 .
  3. ^ Jump up to:b COGNARD-BLACK, Andrew J (2012). “RIDING THE GLASS ESCALATOR TO THE PRINCIPAL’S: Sex-atypical Work among Token Men in the US OFFICE”. Teorija in Praksa . 49.6 : 878-900.
  4. Jump up^ Williams, Christine. “THE GLASS ESCALATOR, REVISITED: Gender Inequality in Neoliberal Times, SWS Feminist Lecturer”. .

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