As if the difficulty of breaking through the glass ceiling wasn’t enough, professional women have to navigate yet another barrier to advancing in the workplace: the glass cliff. This phenomenon is characterized by what all-too-frequently happens when women are given leadership roles in a corporation when business is suffering. Women executives are appointed to these positions even though chance of failure is highest, and then are often held personally accountable when they can’t turn things around. In other words, otherwise capable women are being set up to fail, and research shows that women CEOs are 45% more likely to be fired from CEO roles than men.
So why bother to take on these positions when the chance of failure is high? Some high-performing women may view these precarious opportunities as their only chance at a top role, and see it as being worth the risk. Luckily, there are steps women can take to avoid falling off the glass cliff. By researching company insights and industry trends, executive women can get a good sense of potential risk, and by factoring risk into salary negotiations a competitive salary can be secured. And perhaps most importantly, there’s no shame in walking away if the risk is too great.