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Lesson 2. Glass ceiling


I. What is glass ceiling? Consult your dictionary if necessary.

II. Read the information about the glass ceiling and discuss the questions below.

A glass ceiling is an unofficial barrier which stops certain kinds of people from advancing in their careers. This means that they won't be promoted even if they deserve it. The glass ceiling is a form of discrimination which sometimes affects women or people from racial minorities.

1. How common are glass ceilings in your country?

2. What, if anything, should governments or companies do to make sure that everyone has equal opportunities in the workplace?

Active vocabulary

Lexical exercises

I. Complete the sentences using each of the words below.

Unfair unethical dishonest illegal

1. It was really …………. of her to claim she had experience when she didn't.

2. Exporting works of art without a license is ………… ; you'll go to prison if they catch you.

3. You shouldn't talk about your clients' business in front of everyone, it's …………. .

4. How…………! He only got promoted because he was the boss's nephew.


II. Match the situations 1-4 with the comments a-d below.

1. Without exception all staff members are obliged to retire at the age of 65.

2. Ms Spencer was dismissed for poor time-keeping.

3. A further part of the work force was made redundant when the order was cancelled.

4. He had to resign to avoid a scandal.

a) I hate to tell you this, but they've laid off even more people.”

b) “Mrs. Biggs didn't want to stop work at all. She was so sad at her leaving party.”

c) “Well, apparently he had to quit. It was either that or seeing his name in the papers.”

d) “Janet's been sacked for being late all the time.”

III. Find less formal words in 2a-d above for the words in italics in 1-4. Do you have equivalents in your language?

IV. Complete the sentences 1-5 with prepositions below.

with for against of for

1. She was discriminated……….. for being a woman in a man's world.

2. They're prosecuting the factory………dumping chemicals in the river.

3. A minister has been accused……….accepting bribes.

4. A manager and stockbroker have been charged………… illegally exploiting market information.

5. Three car dealers have been fined………..fixing the prices of their vehicles.

V. Which sentences in 4 above describe the following crimes?

a) damaging the environment

b) insider trading

c) unfair competition

d) bribery and corruption

e) unfair employment practices


Find any case of glass ceiling in any country and discuss it within your group.

Lesson 3. Discrimination


1. What is discrimination?

2. Have you ever come across such case?

3. How common is discrimination in your country?

4. Should we go to the law when being discriminated?

Case study

Read about the three real cases and complete the table.

  Plaintiff(-the person starting the legal action) Defendant(-the person/organization who has been accused of doing something wrong) Reason for the case
Case 1 Tahir Hussain        
Case 2     Age discrimination
Case 3   Sun Valley Foods      

Case 1

When Tahir Hussain, an Asian man, applied for a job with a motor firm, his application was turned down. However, when he invented a fictitious CV for a white Englishwoman called Catherine Riley to accompany an application for the same job, he was called for an interview. He claimed the car dealer was guilty of both sex and race discrimination. The solicitor representing the car company said that Mr. Hussain’s application had been refused because it appeared arrogant and over-sold himself. The CV from the imaginary Catherine Riley was more factual.

Case 2

Mrs. Gweneth Niman wants to take the charity Age Concern to court because she was told to retire when she turned 70. She earned $280 a month selling insurance. Mrs. Niman is so angry that she is prepared to go all the way to the European Court of Human Justice. Age Concern, which campaigns against ageism, said she could continue her job on a voluntary basis. The charity says that all staff knows that 70 is the maximum retirement age.

Case 3

A man was refused a job at a chicken factory because he was too tall. Sun Valley Foods rejected him for factory work. Barry Seale, who is 1.88m, claims sex discrimination because men are generally taller than women. The firm says it operated a “heightist” policy because it was afraid that tall workers would suffer back and neck injury.

Profile Intermediate, Oxford Business English


Date: 2015-12-24; view: 1540

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VII. Write the sentences in this letter in the correct order. | I. Discuss your immediate reaction to each of the three cases.
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