What is the Glass Cliff?


The glass cliff, a not-too-distant relative of the glass ceiling, is yet another barrier to success for women looking to advance in their careers. While the glass ceiling is a well-known invisible barrier to success that prevents women from reaching senior roles in companies, the glass cliff phenomenon describes what often happens when a woman is actually elevated to a top role, only to fail.

This glass cliff is a metaphor for instances in which women are given leadership roles in a corporation when business performance is doing poorly. In these times of difficulty, women are more likely to fail and be ousted, apparent in the fact that women CEOs are 45% more likely to be fired from CEO roles than men.

So why do women bother to take on such precarious leadership positions in the first place? For some, they feel as if it could be their only opportunity at a top role, and is ultimately worth the risk. Luckily, there are steps women can take to avoid tumbling down the glass cliff. By analyzing industry trends before accepting a top role, you’ll get a good idea of the potential risk. Defining how success in the role will be measured will set the stage for expectations, and factoring risk into salary negotiations will help secure a competitive salary.

For more tips on how to navigate the glass cliff, check out the infographic from Fundera below:


What is the Glass Cliff?

Infographic by Fundera.com

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