How to Challenge Glass Cliffs and Codify Your Archetype


How to challenge glass cliffs and codify your archetype - Ragan Communications



Having broken through the glass ceiling, we now must recognize the glass cliff.

Amira Barger

Having women in top leadership roles is more important than ever. Women occupy more than half of management roles and are most often the leaders supporting well-being of employees through diversity, equity & inclusion. Yet, we are passed over for c-suite roles and find difficulty in being supported by networks that shift our trajectories towards c-suite placement AND c-suite success – “and” being the operative word. This is particularly true in the world of public relations where near 80% of CEO positions are occupied by men.

It becomes exponentially difficult as a woman of a historically excluded group – we lag behind men and white women, making up only 13% of c-suite roles. As a Black woman in leadership, it is palpable to me how often women are put in these roles and do not have equal opportunity to thrive. Often moved into leadership in times of crisis, many women, especially from historically marginalized communities, are met with inadequate resources, staffing, training, or support. Having broken through the ”glass ceiling”, we are thrust into positions teetering on the brink of failure. With high risk and little margin for error, these precarious circumstances are a phenomenon known as the “glass cliff”. To attenuate this cliff, we can apply the framework businesses use to build archetypal strategies, as it lends itself to considerations decision-makers – and women themselves – might make regarding potential glass cliff roles.

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