Feeds

Ladies face 'glass cliff' after breaking 'glass ceiling'

Prof: Chaps only let women drive when disaster looms

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A trick-cyclist in Exeter says that women rising to high leaderships positions in business and politics - so having broken through the "glass ceiling" - are then faced by the additional menace of a "glass cliff".

Dr Michelle Ryan and colleagues at Exeter Uni lay out their research in the journal Psychology of Women Quarterly*. Essentially the theory of the "glass cliff" has it that women tend only to be appointed to senior leadership positions when the organisation to be led faces crisis and everything is likely to go wrong, leading to a dearth of men willing to take the helm.

According to the profs:

In the EU women make up just over ten percent of the top executive positions in the top fifty publicly quoted companies, and in the U.S. female leaders occupy less than sixteen percent of these positions in the Fortune 500. As women continue to be under-represented in politics and business, this stereotype is often reinforced and self-perpetuating.

The example chosen by Dr Ryan and her collaborators in their study is not business, however, but that of election campaigns for Conservative Party MPs. It seems that in the 2005 election, Tory selectors in safe seats mostly put forward men, whereas in constituencies where there wasn't much chance of a win they generally chose women - thus facing them with the "glass cliff" of an all but impossible election campaign.

"Gender discrimination in politics can be subtle and difficult to identify," says Ryan. "Women continue to be under-represented in political office and often face a more difficult political task than men."

Her paper, Politics and the Glass Cliff, can be read here (subscription only). ®

Bootnote

*In case you were wondering:

Psychology of Women Quarterly (PWQ) is a feminist journal that publishes primarily qualitative and quantitative research with substantive and theoretical merit... Topics include... lifespan role development and change... physical, sexual, and psychological abuse; violence and harassment; prejudice and discrimination... sexuality, sexual orientation, and heterosexism... Literary analyses do not fall within the purview of the journal.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
French 'terror law' declares WAR on the INTERNET itself, say digi-rights folks
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité: Two out of three ain't bad
SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links
Not even Google can withstand the power of Auntie
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.