Entrepreneur Middle East – What You Need To Know About The Glass Cliff, The Workplace Phenomenon That Prevents Us from Seeing More Successful Female Business Leaders

I was thrilled to be invited to write a piece about The Glass Cliff around publication for Entrepreneur Middle East – you can find the piece in full here.

The Glass Cliff is the lesser known sister to the Glass Ceiling- the workplace phenomenon that sees that women are most likely to be given the opportunity to step into leadership roles in businesses or organizations that are already in the midst of a period of organizational crisis.

The types of crises that we bring women in to navigate through are various and wide-ranging. They can be anything from a hit to stock market valuation or profitability, to a reputational scandal, or beyond, but the research remains consistent- those businesses that are already experiencing a prolonged period of difficulty suddenly become much more likely to appoint a female leader to the top spot- particularly if only white males have held those positions up to that point.

These precarious “opportunities” parachute female leaders into positions with a heightened risk of failure, and associate them from the outset with both crisis and poor performance, despite them not having a hand in causing the troubles that they have been brought in to solve.

In this way, during such moments of crisis, the long held adage of “Think Manager, Think Male” becomes replaced by a new way of thinking: “Think Crisis, Think Female.” It’s a shift in our perception that happens because during difficult times, businesses often reassess the skills, values, and competencies they are looking for in a leader to see them back to a sure footing.

– Sophie Williams, Author, The Glass Cliff

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