ARTICLE

PRESENTATION

By –

Naveen Singh Kumar

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With the recent dismissal/demotion of Erin Callan (Lehman Brothers), Zoe Cruz (Morgan Stanley), and Sallie Krawcheck (Citi), a 2005 article in the British Journal of Management entitled "The Glass Cliff: Evidence that Women are Over-Represented in Precarious Leadership Positions" is being scrutinized anew.
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Glass ceiling?

The Glass ceiling – phrase coined in 1984 to mean an invisible barrier to women being promoted beyond middle management. Research into the glass cliff examines what happens when women (and other minority groups) take on leadership roles. Extending the metaphor of the glass ceiling, 'the glass cliff' describes the phenomenon whereby individuals belonging to particular groups are more likely to be found in leadership positions that are associated with a greater risk of failure and criticism.
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The Times – November 11th 2003
“So much for smashing the glass ceiling and using their unique skills to enhance the performance of Britain’s biggest companies. The triumphant march of women into the country’s boardrooms has instead wreaked havoc on companies’ performance and share prices”
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The Times – November 11th 2003
Cranfield Index ranking FTSE 100 companies: Percentage of women on their boards of directors 4 of the top 5 companies have underperformed The bottom 5 companies all outperformed ‘Corporate Britain may well be better off without women on the board’
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Problems with this Analysis
Crude measures of women in leadership and performance Does not take into account: • changes in the number of women • date of appointment • length of service • fluctuations in performance over time
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Archival Study: Ryan & Haslam, 2004
Reverse the causal sequencing A company’s poor performance could trigger the appointment of a woman to the board
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Archival Study: Summary
Contrary to the Times, the appointment of a woman to the board of directors was not associated with a subsequent drop in company performance In a time of a general financial downturn in the stock market, companies that appointed a woman had experienced consistently poor performance in the months preceding the appointment.
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Women don't want to be the boss
Middle and lower management of the retail industry is less male-dominated than most parts of the British economy. But there are only three female chief executives among the 66 store groups listed on the London Stock Exchange. Why is it that such a high proportion of women retailers do not want to become chief executives? The survey says that women shy away from the top jobs because they are unwilling to sacrifice their family life, are less aggressive than their male counterparts and are less concerned with job status than men.
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Some Factors resulting in Glass cliff situation : PERSONAL BIAS
ISOLATION FROM THE TEAM CRASHING ON FAILURE PERSONAL Vs PROFESSIONAL LIFE
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Evidence from Other Domains
In politics: • Canada — Kim Campbell, Prime Minister • Australia — Joan Kirner (VIC) Carmen Lawrence (WA), State Premiers All appointed mid-term, post-crisis

Premier 3 yrs Premier 2 yrs
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PM four months

High-school students asked to select a candidate for a youth representative position for a music festival doing well or doing badly.

The Candidates

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Ranking of Candidates

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Athena Factor
The Athena Factor, a new Harvard Business Review Research Report, examines the female brain drain to find out what’s causing it, and how to stop it.
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41 % of SET professional are female. 52 % of which quit their job.

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If the companies can able to control the attrition of women by 25 %, they need not to train the additional 2,20,000 qualified professional.

Cutting female attrition yields huge gains

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The Times Publication

Nov. 2003 The Times publish an article “Women on board: Help or Hindrance.” Based on correlation analysis. Wreaking havoc on the performance of FTSE 100 Companies.

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Anecdotal Evidence

Glass-cliff position– Potentionally dangerous. (Meindl, 1993; Haslam et al, 2001) [I was] promoted to manager at a time when failure of the company was inevitable. In my estimation I needed 6 months to put new practices in place and put the company on an even keel — I was made redundant after three and a half months.’ (Female Professional, 35)
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The other side of the coin

Glass-cliff position not necessarily lead to failure. It may seem as a “ Opportunity.” ‘I am a geologist and I have always had great difficulty getting jobs in mining. I have found that picking and accepting glass cliff situations has helped me to get jobs…. I have proved that I can and as a consequence I now charge accordingly.’ (Female Professional, 48)
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A Positive Attitude Towards Life………….

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Conclusion

Extending the metaphor of the ‘glass ceiling’, we argue that women are more likely than men to confront a ‘glass cliff’, such that their leadership appointments are more likely to be made in problematic organizational circumstances and are thus more precarious. I believe that Women make great managers , the thing that really bothers me is that they need keep their personal biases ,which may arise out of personal or professional life, at bay. The day this is achieved Women may turn into successful leaders rather than being mere Managers....
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Life Can Be Beautiful………………..

If Looked From the Other side………
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Women Can Also Smile……….. :o)

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Sources
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Presentation by Dr. Michelle Ryan and Prof. Alex Haslam. Glass cliff by Sylvia Ann Hewlett. The Times Publication. FTSE reviews. Google India. Discussion Forums.

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