Feeds

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

Prof: Chaps only let women drive when disaster looms

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
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.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.