LE PLAFOND DE VERRE
THE GLASS CEILING

Director:
Yamina Benguigui

Writer:
Yamina Benguigui

Running time: 52’
Production: France 2004
Rating: Not Rated
Gauge: DVD (color)
Genre: Documentary

Distributor:
ArtMattan Films

 




“Yamina Benguigui asks important, basic questions: in a system led by cooptation, what can diplomas and universities do for children of first generation migrants, working class or unemployed, who have been raised in the ghetto? What remains of republican meritocracy when the doors of employers are open first and foremost to graduates from business schools with unaffordable tuitions?”
Isabelle Regnier, Le Monde.

“The Glass Ceiling” is an American sociological expression referring to the invisible, impalpable barrier that prevents women from reaching the same level as men in their careers. Using this metaphor, Yamina Benguigui examines the integration of immigrants in the workplace. For her, the comparison between immigrants and women is relevant because they face the same challenges: the issue is not necessarily about finding work, but about being hired for positions of responsibility that correspond to their educational backgrounds. The film provides deeply moving testimonies of qualified students who, because of their obviously foreign last names, were not called back for job interviews. Some chose to fight for jobs for which they are qualified, others gave up and accepted positions with less or no responsibilities. Yamina Benguigui also interviews experts who discuss the reasons behind discrimination, which include France’s colonial past as well as deeply entrenched corporate practices, and the difficulty that individuals of foreign origins face.


 
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