The Federal Glass Ceiling Commission has officially gone out of business. Its final report after four years of work - surprise - said women face barriers in the business world.

According to the now-defunct commission, women can gaze longingly at the upper echelons, but they can't quite get into them. An invisible barrier made of discrimination bars their way.Well, it's true that top spots on business boards, in academia and so on generally belong to men. But many of them are in their 50s or 60s and entered the pipeline for these career-topping jobs decades ago when women weren't in the workplace or academia in large numbers.

But women are in that very pipeline now, and more and more can be expected to take over some of these coveted spots in the near future.

Any working woman will tell you the attitude toward her is different, and much more positive, from the 40-year-old guys than from the 55-year-old guys. And, yes, some of this change is thanks to the feminists.

Even so, will we ever see parity in the upper echelons between the genders? Probably not. Most women will continue to make career choices that leave room for children and family to an extent their male colleagues do not. These decisions, naturally, will be reflected in their wages and advancement.

According to a survey by the executive recruiting firm Robert Haff and Associates, 82 percent of professional career women would prefer jobs with flexible hours, more family time and slower advancement over more grueling careers with more rapid advancement.

June O'Neill, economist and director of the Congressional Budget Office, has shown that women age 27-35 without children make 98 percent of what men do. A never-married woman 37 or older actually makes more than her never-married male colleague; i.e., lifestyle decisions that women freely make themselves are largely responsible for the glass ceiling.

But even if the gender activists could be convinced by these facts they would still argue that many women "perceive" discrimination and that this alone is cause for concern.

But it seems much of the perceived discrimination is inherent differences in communication techniques between the genders, not hostility, Jayne Tear, a gender dynamics consultant, recently reported in The Wall Street Journal.

For instance, Tear notes, men tend to move around while listening to the speaker, which is often interpreted as rudeness. Women tend to make more eye contact, smile and nod, whether or not they agree. Then, if a man assumes agreement, he appears arrogant or dismissive to his women co-workers.

Men tend to speak without pausing, freely interrupting each other. Women tend to create pauses in order to take turns. This means men can appear controlling, like they are trying to "shut women out." Men's humor is usually teasing. You guessed it - harassment.

Feminists will try to manipulate the numbers, but when that fails they will continue to rely on their feelings instead. Because for the feminists, the "glass ceiling" is big business.