Sunday, September 7, 2008

Through the Glass Ceiling and You May Face a Glass Cliff

An article in Business Week refreshes the notion that women in top positions sometimes find themselves facing glass cliffs, a term coined by a paper from 2005. They explain that there is more attention on women that fail, but critics sometimes fail to acknowledge that the situation the woman entered was already a tough situation where a company was in decline. When women are struggling to 'right the ship' it is difficult. Women are often isolated in their position of leadership with less mentors and a smaller network to leverage to weather the storm.
So the next time you hear about a senior woman being dismissed or relegated remember to ask yourself what the situation was like before they entered the position. Remember to give them a second chance. A significant portion of women in science, engineering and technology feel that when they fail they rarely get a second chance.

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