Work and life balance challenges can impact women’s advancement and, if not dealt with, may contribute to the glass-ceiling phenomenon. Women are typically the primary family caregivers for children and/or the elderly (Lukaka, 2015). Assumptions are often made regarding women’s availability to do a job without interference from family responsibilities.
Further, some organizations may not offer work/life programs that support outside commitments, particularly for senior-level positions (Lukaka, 2015). As a possible solution, perhaps, women could choose to work fewer hours than men in order to spend more time with their families. Women also measure success in the workplace differently than men.
Men tend to measure success by high salaries and important job titles whereas women place a higher value on their relationships with colleagues and community service (Akpinar-Sposito, 2013). Therefore, many women are at a disadvantage to take steps that would increase the likelihood of advancing up the corporate ladder (Ushba Ismail, 2010).Having children brings a lot of responsibilities to a family life and this is the reason why many women decide to leave their careers prematurely so as to raise their children sufficiently. For this reason, employers occasionally hesitate to promote women because they are afraid that women will choose their families first. Nonetheless, an increasing number of companies are realizing the fact that women need some time out and have undertaken attempts to encourage women to remain longer in their careers as the participation of women is vital to the diversity and to the successes of corporations (Lukaka, 2015).
Laufer (2003) indicates that the different needs? of women lead them to create a self-imposed glass ceiling, in this manner only artificially seeming as if a glass ceiling would block their careers. Confronted with the ever-present glass ceiling, it is no longer possible, as has often been the case, to talk of the “choice of women for family” in explaining the absence of women in applying for certain vacancies, whilst at present many women uphold both a successful career and children. It is therefore necessary to “shift the focus” so as to give more weight to the organizational obstacles outlined here.