Leadership

The Glass Cliff: Why Women Are Being Set Up To Fail

Women are slowly breaking through the "glass ceiling", but when they do, they often find themselves standing on the edge of the "glass cliff".

By Sarah-Jane Collins

Leadership

Women are slowly breaking through the "glass ceiling", but when they do, they often find themselves standing on the edge of the "glass cliff".

By Sarah-Jane Collins

When Marissa Mayer was made CEO of Yahoo! she was brought in at a time of company turmoil. News reports at the time described Yahoo! as “troubled” and a “vexing-brain twister”. All eyes were on Mayer to see if she could right the ship. Theresa May, embattled British Prime Minister, took on the role when no man who had previously jockeyed for it wanted to touch it. Flailing about trying to reconcile actually implementing Brexit and the promises made around Brexit, the Conservative party turned to a woman to try to do the hard yards. She wasn’t the first Female PM of the United Kingdom, but like Margaret Thatcher, she came to power within her party at a time of turmoil.

Women in top leadership positions are still a rare occurrence. As of June 2016, Women made up just 22.8 per cent of national parliamentarians. They make up only 25 per cent of executive and leadership positions in S&P 500 companies, 20 per cent of boards and five per cent of CEOs in the US. In Australia, there are now 14 women CEOs in top 200 companies, up from 11 in 2017 – but this is still only seven per cent. That’s the same percentage as in the UK, where women make up 7 per cent of FTSE 1000 company CEOs. When they do make it through that glass ceiling to survey the world, they often find themselves teetering on an unstable edge, something researchers coined “the Glass Cliff”.

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You’ve hit the glass ceiling. And our paywall.

Help us smash it by becoming a Future Woman for as little as $7 a month.

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