Publication Details

Smith, P., Caputi, P. & Crittenden, N. (2012). How are women's glass ceiling beliefs related to career success?. Career Development International, 17 (5), 458-474.


Purpose – The purpose of this study is to test the concurrent criterion validity of a new measure, the Career Pathways Survey (CPS) by exploring how women’s glass ceiling beliefs are related to five major indicators of subjective career success: career satisfaction, happiness, psychological wellbeing, physical health and work engagement (WE). Design/methodology/approach – Data from a cross-sectional study of 258 women working in Australian organizations were analyzed. The participants completed the CPS and measures of subjective career success. The CPS assesses four sets of beliefs about glass ceilings: denial, resilience, acceptance and resignation. Findings – Regression analyses showed denial was positively associated with career satisfaction and WE; resignation was negatively related to happiness and both emotional and physical wellbeing; resilience had positive relationships with happiness and WE; acceptance was negatively related to WE. The findings provide support for the hypotheses and the concurrent validity of the CPS. Research limitations/implications – Given the study uses a cross-sectional design, causal directions found between variables are inferences. Further research with longitudinal and experimental studies is needed to provide support for these inferences. Practical implications – Training programs to analyze glass ceiling beliefs after testing with the CPS may be a beneficial strategy to help women identify reasons for their career goals. Feedback from CPS testing might facilitate greater awareness of the causes of women’s subjective success in organizations. Originality/value – The paper is the first to shed light on the connections between these success variables and women’s beliefs about glass ceilings.



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