Hopp til innhold


The Glass Ceiling - Tasks

1. Linking Words

Most craftsmen have tools that make their work easier and improve the final product. So too with good writers. Linking words are tools of the writer’s trade and learning to use them will not only make writing easier, it will help you to organize your thoughts more logically and make it easier for your reader to follow your line of thinking and accept your views.

Below you will find six groups of separate sentences. Your job is to link the sentences together to make coherent paragraphs by using linking words. Remove or add words as you see fit, but make sure you don’t change the information in the sentences. This web page will help you on your way: Linking Words.

  1. A hundred years ago many women did not have an education or a chance to work outside the home.
  2. They did not have the right to vote.
  3. They were kept out of political life.
  4. They were not able to influence their own destiny.
  1. At the end of the nineteenth century, women in Europe and the US were systematically excluded from taking part in public life.
  2. Key rights were denied women.
  3. Married women were often denied the right to own property.
  4. They were excluded from many educational institutions and certain professions.
  1. American women were the first to start the fight for equal rights.
  2. It was the women of New Zealand who first earned the right to vote.
  3. In 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment was added to the Constitution of the United States.
  4. American women were finally given the same rights as their male counterparts.
  1. During the First World War, women in Britain had to fill many of the traditional male roles.
  2. Many employers were surprised by how well women could do men’s work.
  3. Many were converted to the cause of women’s suffrage.
  4. In 1918, British women over 30 earned the right to vote.
  1. The arguments against the vote for women were many.
  2. Some people believed that going into the rough world of politics would change the caring nature of a woman.
  3. It was argued that the vast majority of women were too ignorant of politics to be able to use their vote in a good way.
  4. It was claimed that many women did not want to vote, and would not use it if they got it.
  5. Politics was regarded as a burden that women should be free of.
  1. The situation has improved.
  2. More and more women work outside the home.
  3. Change is slow.
  4. There is still a considerable pay gap.

2. Listening Exercise / Class Discussion / Radio Program

This is an extract (8 min) from the BBC radio program, Today. Evan Davis meets Lucy Neville Rolfe, executive director of Tesco, Lorraine Heggessey, the first female controller of BBC1, and Rachel Lomax, former deputy governor of the Bank of England.
Use the program as a starting point for a class discussion. Afterwards you may work in groups and make your own radioprogram using Audacity for recording.

  1. What do they say about:
    • quotas
    • practical barriers for women
    • mental barriers for women
  2. What is your personal opinion about quotas and positive discrimination for women?
  3. Does the glass ceiling really exist? Do you think there is a difference between Norway and other countries on this matter?

3. Reading Statistics

Enter this site and answer the questions below:

  1. Go through the 5 occupation categories. Are there any occupations where women earn more than men?
  2. What is the percentage difference in earnings between female and male lawyers?
  3. How do they explain the 40% difference in pay between female and male physicians and surgeons?
  4. According to the information, why do female Chief Executives earn 19% less than their male counterparts?
  5. Which of the 5 occupational groups has the lowest wage in general?

4. Interview / Answering Questions

This interview with Ingrid Fiskaa, a Norwegian State Secretary, was shown on Fox News in 2011. Watch the interview and answer the questions.

  1. What do they say about the number of Norwegian women on private and public boards? What is their reaction to this?
  2. Where is Norway on the list of gender equality? Where is the USA? Why do you think Norway is so much higher up on the list than the USA?
  3. What is said about parental leave and child care coverage in Norway? What are their reactions to this? And what is Ingrid Fiskaa’s main argument for giving parents a whole year off from work with pay?
  4. Enter this site on Parental Leave. Find out what the parental leave is for the Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland). Which of these countries have the best coverage? Scroll down to the USA. What is the situation there?
  5. The interview ends with this comment: “I want to know whether a girl who is part of a community where 80% of the girls are forced to work is happier than the girl who has more of a choice.” In your opinion: Are girls in Norway forced to work? Do you think Norwegian working women are more satisfied than American women who have “more of a choice”?
  6. In your opinion: What does this interview reveal about the differences between the two countries as regards their view on gender equality?

5. Writing - Letter to the Editor

Use the articles below (and others you may find on the Internet) as a source of information before you do the tasks.

Norway Smashes the Glass Ceiling
You're Fired
Have Women Shattered the Glass Ceiling?

  1. Make a list of arguments for and against the legislation introduced in Norway. What is your personal view on the matter?
  2. After the legislation was introduced in Norway, there have been discussions in Britain whether or not they should follow suit. You would like to participate in this discussion. Choose a viewpoint for or against positive discrimination of women and use the arguments you have found in question 1. Then write a Letter to the Editor where you present and defend your point of view.
Sist faglig oppdatert 05.02.2018
Skrevet av Karin Søvik


Current debates in the English-speaking world


Oppgaver og aktiviteter