Tough at the top: the glass ceiling problem

Publication type

Book Chapter

Series Number

Ch. 7


Mapping Integration



Publication date

June 1, 2014


Most of the attention concerning immigrant integration is devoted to problems at the bottom of society. This is understandable given that Britain’s post-war immigrants have had, for the most part, poorer educational and employment profiles than natives. But it means that problems of equality and opportunity at the top of the tree sometimes get overlooked. This essay looks at the problems associated with ethnic penalties in the professions, and other high reward/status sectors, and the extent to which these are due to persistent discrimination or to other factors. (And we should bear in mind that one problem here is lack of reliable data.) I will also look at things from the perspective of one runaway successful group, Indians, to assess what has gone well for them and what still holds back further gains.





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