What Is the Glass Cliff? #infographic

What Is the Glass Cliff? #infographic

There are the same inherent stereotypes in businesses of all sizes. Before everyone knew about the glass ceiling, but what about the glass cliff? Also, women are promoted to leadership positions when the risk of failure is greatest when an organization is going through a period of turmoil.

It was disclosed in a 2005 report by Ryan and Haslam that high-level female employees are often promoted in a time of crisis. The women in these positions were set up to fail because if the company does not recover quickly, they are likely to be fired. This phenomenon was called "The Cliff of Glass." Among Fortune 500 firms, this issue is not exclusive. Such stereotypes are open for companies of any scale. Like any sort of discrimination, acknowledging and educating people about it is the best way to move beyond it.

A research by Alison Cook and Christy Glass in 2013 found that women's CEO appointments historically followed poor performance in the business. The organization will use this appointment in these cases to signal a change in direction after a period of turnover or growth lower than expected. To make matters worse, female CEOs are 45% more likely than their male counterparts to be terminated.

Who are the CEOs replaced by these women? Typically white men, a scenario called the "savior effect" by Cook and Glass. Why do so many women of high performance embrace roles that seem almost impossible to overcome? Only 33 of the Fortune 500 companies have a female CEO as of June 2019. Which amounts to 6.6%. Sadly, female managers in general do not have a lot of opportunities. While dangerous, these positions provide the potential to have a major impact and change a company's direction.

Not only is the glass cliff a theory, there are numerous examples throughout history of the phenomenon. Jill Abramson was named executive editor of The New York Times in September 2011. She was the first woman in the 168 years of the existence of the paper to hold this position. Despite bringing in hundreds of thousands of subscribers through the paywall of the Times and consistently positive financial performance, she was let go in less than three years.

Abramson's reports were hard and pushy, criticism rarely applied to men. Dean Baquet, a Times managing editor, succeeded Abramson. In January 2009, Carol Bartz was hired by Yahoo, becoming the company's first woman CEO. Bartz was put in a tough position right away. The company laid off about 1,600 employees in 2008. Unable to change the company's fortunes, Bartz was shot over the mobile two and a half years later.

Timothy Morse, then Yahoo's chief executive, was made interim chief executive. For women executives, however, it's not all doom and gloom. Since 2012, Ginni Rometty has been IBM's Chairman, President and CEO. The organization undergone a major transition during her leadership, shifting from an emphasis on computers and operating systems to fields like big data, blockchain, and artificial intelligence. In 2018, IBM was awarded the Catalyst Award for Advancing Gender and Business Equity, the first tech company to win the award in 25 years.

There's also General Motors CEO Mary Barra. Taking over in 2004, Barra became a major global automaker's first female CEO. Her leadership has seen GM become a global leader in equality, ranked first by research firm Equileap in the 2018 Global Report on Gender Equality. Use these Fundera tips after you shatter through the glass ceiling to avoid falling off the glass cliff.

What Is the Glass Cliff? #infographic

infographic by: www.fundera.com

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