My friend Lisa Williams raises a good point in the comments on my Carol Bartz post. She writes: “Susan, do you think this is an example of the “glass cliff”?
The Harvard Business Review recently revisited this phenomenon, where women are overrepresented in what they call “precarious leadership positions.” That is, they’re set up to fail by being given opportunities to lead only after a company is in so much trouble that it’s too late to do anything except dismantle it.
So, your determination: golden opportunity, or glass cliff?”
The HBS piece Lisa is referencing, by Sylvia Anne Hewett, summarizes a piece of British research by MIchelle K Ryan and summarized in a BBC piece, that makes the following points:
The piece also says “Women who take on leadership roles may be more exposed to criticism than men in the same position. They may also be in greater danger of being held responsible for negative outcomes that were set in train well before they assumed their new roles.“
So, whaddya think? Did Carol Bartz step onto the glass cliff? Or are things so bad at Yahoo! she can only make them better?
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