33rd Annual Conference

March 8-12, 2021


Impact of the “Cultural Glass Ceiling” on Global Talent Development

20-minute Trend Talk

Day 4

Session Code: TT-7B
When: March 11, 2021
Level: Intermediate
Track: Global Diversity
Presenter: Kathleen Curran, Global Coaches Network (GCN)


Finding, retaining, and developing talent continues to offer urgent challenges for global enterprises. A “cultural glass ceiling” (CGC) creates barriers to career advancement, which frequently ends with an employee moving on and the enterprise losing out.

In this trend talk, I’ll reveal the critical effects of the CGC on recruitment, development, and retention within the global enterprise. Based on recent research conducted in Southeast and East Asia, I will offer insights to:
1. Individuals’ perceptions of advancement opportunities under a “cultural glass ceiling”
2. Personal and organizational factors impacting growth possibilities in non-HQ sites of operation
3. Vicious cycles within the global enterprise that damage global talent retention

The discoveries transcend geographies and contexts — whether leaders striving to advance, managers of high-potential staff, or L&D executives driving talent development initiatives, all will resonate with the assessment and recommendations for equitable access to opportunities.

Learning Outcomes

• Understand the nature and impact of a “cultural glass ceiling” and determine if you have one
• Identify potential factors impeding and supporting global talent development and retention
• Draft actions to address x-centrisms and elevate positive factors creating conditions for success

The Forum on Workplace Inclusion®
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