The glass ceiling may not be the issue keeping women from advancing in their careers but something called the 'sticky floor'.

Karin Schnarr, who gives credit for that term to a friend, says it's not so much about women getting the opportunity to work at the highest levels or what has been referred to as breaking the glass ceiling, but the opportunity to rise from the lower levels of the company ranks to the mid-levels.

Schnarr, an assistant professor at Lazaridis School of Business and Economics Wilfrid Laurier University thinks changes could eventually lead to having more than two women on a future list of top paid CEO's.

'Perceived as wanting what they don't deserve'

Schnarr, who teaches an MBA course where half the class are women, says the 'sticky floor' makes it difficult for some women in lower level positions to advance their careers to a mid-level spot.

"It's hard for women, particularly in entry-level positions," said Schnarr. "We find they're not promoted as quickly. Sometime when they ask for salary increases the same as male colleagues they're perceived as wanting what they don't deserve."

Not a fan of quota systems

Schnarr says many of the female students in her class have discussed the hiring quota systems to increase the number of women, but the students say they're not fans of the idea. Countries like Scandanavia have set quotas in place for hiring.

"They want to know that if they are given that job, they're given that job because they are tough and smart and deserve it and will be able to give back to the value of the company." said Schnarr.

The road ahead

Looking forward, Schnarr hopes young women in entry-level positions will be able to take part in networking, mentoring and supporting others.

"Sponsoring opportunities, where people put their own name and reputation on the line to make sure a different type of candidate has an opportunity," said Schnarr. "Because leadership styles are different, and maybe we need to take a chance on having different types of leaders leading our company."