Marilyn Rhoden, workplace advocate who popularized the term ‘glass ceiling’, dies at 76

“I didn’t think it was a big deal, to be honest,” Roden said. washington post 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of her first using the term. “In that moment, it made sense to me.”

She also had no idea at the time that a woman would continue to face invisible obstacles after her death.

“I thought I would finish this by the end of my life, but it won’t,” she told The Post. People will say, ‘There was a time when there was a glass ceiling.'”

Roden died last month at the age of 76. obituary It was published in her local newspaper, the Napa Valley Register. Her death came a year after Roden was diagnosed with cancer, the paper reported. Widely known for coining the term “glass ceiling,” she has a rich history of advocating for working women and challenging companies to break down barriers to women’s career success.

Roden invented the ‘glass ceiling’ from the cuff

While Roden was working in AT&T’s human resources department, she was asked to fill in for a female manager at the 1978 Women’s Action Alliance conference, The Post reported. She participated in a panel on advancing women in the workforce that focused on women’s role in her career stagnation. Her allegations, which Roden felt were unfair.

“It was hard to sit quietly and listen to the criticism,” she wrote in 2017. piece for the BBC.

She felt that it was not women who were to blame for the lack of promotion, but rather the inherent sexism in organizations like the American Workforce.

“I argued that the ‘invisible glass ceiling’ (barriers to cultural rather than personal progress) is doing the most damage to women’s career aspirations and opportunities.

Roden challenged the popular notion that women should adhere to a traditionally male model of leadership in order to succeed within the industry. In her 1985 book Feminine Her Leadership, or How to Succeed in Business Without Being One of Her Men, Rhoden urges female readers to change themselves to fit in with their male bosses. Instead, I encouraged them to use their strengths to change the landscape of the company. She has also authored a book on how to support diversity in the workplace.

“To compete effectively, we need a fundamental change in the very structure of U.S. companies and the way they operate,” she said. I have written In “Women’s Leadership”.
Since the publication of her book, Roden has provided her expertise in empowering women in the workplace to organizations such as Citibank, NASA and the US Navy. helped me implement Changes that hold leaders accountable for sexual harassment within the Navy and create an assault prevention policy.
Even as more women headed big companies, Rhoden pleaded with those leaders not to become complacent. The “lean-in” technique, encouraged women to assert themselves at work. She said Sandberg’s advice “is not the answer to the gender biases, inflexible work schedules, and pay inequalities that many working women still face.
“Her accomplishments are commendable, but she remains the exception for women and not the norm in the American workplace. I have written In a New York Times letter to the editor in 2013.
She repeated her sentiments in a 2018 interview Reuters: “I think what every woman in a bona fide leadership position needs to do now is be an advocate for change for women,” she said.

‘Glass Ceiling’ Appears in Cultural Glossary

The “glass ceiling” began appearing in the media years after Roden’s first use — first in 1984’s Adweek profile In writer Gay Bryant’s business publications in the following years. But that was until his 1991 US Congress. Created The Glass Ceiling Commission has gained national recognition for the term by studying these invisible obstacles and creating career paths for women and people of color.
Several prominent women have used the phrase widely address, including two speeches during the presidential campaign by Hillary her 2016 concession speechshe lamented that the glass ceiling of the presidency has yet to be broken.

Roden told various publications on the 40th anniversary of the birth of the “glass ceiling” that in the 1970s women didn’t think they would still have to fight sexism in the workplace in 2018. Told. , among them several women, many of them in the entertainment industry, named powerful men they said had been sexually harassed or abused at work.

In 2018, she told The Washington Post what she learned from #MeToo stories.

Roden continued her workplace advocacy into her 70s, telling Reuters in 2018 that the harassment stories only strengthened her mission.

“I think there’s still a lot of work to be done,” she told Reuters. “I’m not ready to stop. I want to make a difference.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.