The culture ceiling | Warwick Business School

Ugochi AgoreyoUgochi Agoreyo, Head of Channel for SAP West Africa, and Full-time MBA alumna, explores the concept of the culture ceiling in the work place, discussing if this is why women in some geographies are not negotiating their way to the top and sharing her advice for those looking to break it.

Across the world, research suggests that about 20% of women don’t negotiate at all. This percentage is cited in a research-based study by Linda Babcook titled ‘Women don’t ask’.

My experience, working predominantly with teams in Africa is that the percentage could be higher in these parts. The increase in percentages, in my experience sometimes, is heavily influenced by the culture in which we operate.

The African stereotype of women as mild mannered, agreeable, softly spoken, unproblematic and accepting in the workplace, helps to build an imaginary glass ceiling that women are inclined not to cross. This stereotype juxtaposed against an idea that a negotiation, usually a difficult, hard-nosed, unrelenting exercise, helps to explain why many more women in Africa will choose to settle with what they are offered.

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