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back to article Ladies face 'glass cliff' after breaking 'glass ceiling'

A trick-cyclist in Exeter says that women rising to high leaderships positions in business and politics - so having broken through the "glass ceiling" - are then faced by the additional menace of a "glass cliff". Dr Michelle Ryan and colleagues at Exeter Uni lay out their research in the journal Psychology of Women Quarterly*. …

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Politics AND business?

Is the "politics and business" from the study or something El Reg has added?

The study covers Tory candidate selections and is even called "Politics and the Glass Cliff". Someone's overextrapolating.

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Coat

Glass ceiling

Personaly, I've never had a problem with women above the glass ceiling. As long as they're wearing a skirt.

Sorry Miss Bee, I'll get my coat.

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Anonymous Coward

Stereotyping - A Self Fulfilling Prophesy?

I suspect that some female employees do play the harrasment and the discrimination card on occasion (Topical or what?). In my experience, women are generally a lot better than men, in their role and willingly bend over backwards to accomodate their male colleagues.

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Carla Fiorina...

would certainly fit the bill (in her reign as HP suprema). You could more or less force Mrs Thatcher into the theory too - Britain was in one hell of a mess in 1979.

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um...

Tom, statistically you could argue that 'Britain is in one hell of a mess' whenever a new party comes to power - If it wasn't then the incumbant would likely not have been voted out.

You could argue that we are in one hell of a mess now, but I don't see the parties all putting forward woman leaders...

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Anonymous Coward

weren't her problems more to do with ...

CF being shit at her job?

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Women cry foul over opportunities,

cos we only give them the bad ones? and they base this on the most regressive, old-boy ridden industry of all - politics*? Jeez louise, gimme a break!

Any potential merit this article might have had evaporated once they picked the wrong example.

*I am assuming here the Reg's precis of the article is substantively correct.

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FAIL

Not just politics

but Tory politics... The people who chose the candiates are open in there view that "things were better in the past" so only try somthing new when it all gose wrong.

Conservatives don't like change. What a supprise. FFS

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Happy

Oh...

Im not saying its not true, it might be, but not a good group to choose. Im still of the view that someone needs to do a study of the number of female graduates in the "top job" age group (50+) to the number of Women in top jobs. Im sure this will have some effect on it, but I could be wrong.

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Go

MPs

Perhaps we should double the number of MPs and insist that every constituency return one man and one woman.

Or better still, make being an MP part of a job share scheme with their being one male and one female. Then there can always be one MP in parliament and one in the constituency (which does of course assume the candidate actually lives in the constituency and doesn't just take it as a safe seat)

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or...

....or better yet genetically modified hermaphrodite MPs!

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Arrrrgh!

The LAST thing we need to do is increase the number of MPs. We already have far too many of these useless, lying, theiving, fraudulent, philandering scroungers and their equally despicable spouses.

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Manifesto busting

Geniu, You should suggest to Mark Thomas for his Alternative Manifesto.

( Mark Thomas is a UK Stand-up Comedian and somewhat political activist, he has recently collected together some audience suggestions for an alterntive manifesto and his production company are agreeing to back any Independent candidates who will run for parliament as long as they will campaign with at least one of the policies in the Manifesto)

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I don't know

There's just no pleasing some people.

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TRT
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Bionic?

Well, if she breaks apart, at least we can rebuild her.

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Grenade

IANAW, but

I don't see any women complaining about the glass floor, below which men are expected to shut up and get on with it but women can suddenly decide that no, actually, they'd rather not work at all and can become "homemakers". If any female coal miners or sewer maintenance engineers are offended by that, then I apologise unreservedly. Everyone else can suck it.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: IANAW, but

Personally I will be happy with a glass coffin about now.

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WTF?

homemakers? how about HR officers?

I thought women who didn't want to work at all moved into Human Resources!

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Coat

I Believe the Proper Term Is...

"Hiding behind their skirts."

The other edge to this sword is, that if the woman pulls it off, she becomes incredibly valuable.

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The timing must be a coincidence..

but on BBC 4 last night they screened 'Dinner with Micheal Portillo' all about Margret Thatcher and her effect on the glass ceiling for women in politics (should be on the iPlayer somewhere). Some of the panelists came to the conclusion that the biggest thing holding potential women MP's \ Party Leaders back is that most of the current crop of women politico's are all pretty much vapid, brain-dead, window dressing which makes it more difficult for the next woman lining up to be an MP and so on.

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Re: The timing must be a coincidence

"most of the current crop of women politico's are all pretty much vapid, brain-dead, window dressing"

Exactly what are they dressing the windows for then? Depression???

Teresa May used to be my MP. Whenever I wrote to her the only thing I got back was a form letter:

"Thank you for your recent correspondance regarding <subject>. We at the Conservative party think something else entirely, so please piss off."

So who cares who's in politics... the policies come down from the top, decided by spin doctors not politicians.

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Stop

Same as every politico

No point writing to MPs they only jump on bandwagons, current popular ones here are muppets who can't read immigration forms properly, want to jump the queue / be treated as a "special case" so run crying to the local rag who demand a response from the local MP who meekly agrees to press the home office to "make an exception", instead of saying "READ THE F*CKING FORMS PROPERLY!!!"

If you write to them about anything else they go "dont care, go away, we believe this is *evil/wrong/not in the bible/koran etc*"

Useless bunch of twockers

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IT Angle

ahem, management?

In my experience, women managers (of which there are many) are not necessarily worth working with, for many many reasons. It may be different in politics, but the old boy network would just be changed into an old girl network if the rules changed... I tend to prefer the fact that when it comes to gender wars, we never make peace over the strengths each gender is endowed with.

where's the IT angle?

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Cause and effect?

So when women take the helm, a crisis usually ensues?

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Paris Hilton

Sod actually reading the article...

...lets make jokes about ladies facing a glass coffee table from underneath, in a cheesy 1970's Swedish "art house" film!

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Joke

Symposium topics

"How I got to the boardroom from the kitchen, via the bedroom"

Ahem

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Anonymous Coward

Pathetic

What a sad take on life - if a business fails with a man at the top, the failure was his fault. If a business fails with a woman at the top, a man is still to blame because he put her there.

Here's what everyone taking a position of leadership throughout history has had to accept: if something bad happens, it's all *your* fault. Ask any politician...

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Re: Pathetic

So, if one boss or party leader (gender irrelevant) takes over from another, all the problems and issues his/her predecessor created or failed to deal with get wiped from the record? Tell that to Gordon Brown. Indeed, tell it to every other prime minister and everyone who's ever inherited a mess at work from anyone else.

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Pirate

You must have slept through the credit crunch

How many of captains of the banking industry took the blame for their failures and refused the golden handshakes and guaranteed pensions? And how many of their successors (regardless of gender) put the blame for the fraught state of their business on the previous leadership?

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Re: Pathetic

@ "So, if one boss or party leader (gender irrelevant) takes over from another, all the problems and issues his/her predecessor created or failed to deal with get wiped from the record?"

No, the problems from the previous administration all became Gordon Brown's fault the moment he took over. The problems are real, everyone wants someone to shout at, and Gordon Brown is the man who is visible at the top - so he is to blame for everything that goes wrong.

It's a simple fact of the business world - the head of the business is to blame for everything. You can't point the finger at predecessors or employees etc. Everyone will hold you, and only you, accountable. Not nice, often not fair, but a fact of life. Be prepared for it if you ever step into any leadership role - it's the price of admittance!

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Well..

...to be fair Sarah, a lot of those problems were/are financial and prior to becoming our unelected grey overlord, the dour cyclops was the chancellor of the exchequer. And for that matter when it comes to the other problems (Iraq, Afghanistan, the erosion of civil liberties etc) he voted in favour of them prior to assuming the premiership and has continued with the same policies since.

So all in all I reckon he is fair game. We should hang him up like a giant grey piñata and give every taxpayer a stick IMO.

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Except...

"Here's what everyone taking a position of leadership throughout history has had to accept: if something bad happens, it's all *your* fault. Ask any politician..."

You think our politicians accept that it's their fault when something goes wrong? Jeez, which country are you living in?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Except...

@ "You think our politicians accept that it's their fault when something goes wrong? Jeez, which country are you living in?"

Several - it works the same way in all of them. Think about - when have you ever heard a politician/CEO/headmaster say, "it wasn't my fault - it was so-and-so"? No one will wear that. Of course they don't say, "this is all my fault" either, because it's a given (you're the leader - you're responsible). No, what they try to do is either downplay the problem, misdirect attention to something else, or make bold statements about they're solving it ( carefully omitting any specifics). But if the problem persists, and is serious, they will carry the blame and the fallout (whether they really caused the problem or not).

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Stop

Sarah Palin....

....that's all, just think about it.

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... Harman, Currie, Waqui Jaqui..

Yeah, I think I'm beginning to see.

In fairness, 14-odd years in IT and the best boss I've had to date was a woman.

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Joke

If I...

...had to date my boss, I'd probably prefer a woman too.

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Eric the title

> "In fairness, 14-odd years in IT and the best boss I've had to date was a woman."

One of my best bosses was also a woman. Mainly because she never turned up, other than the one occasion she announced she was now in charge. Six months of bliss, not being interfered with by one of our legion of PHBs.

There does seem to be a better correlation between the effectiveness of a boss and their (in)attendance than any other factor, at least in my experience.

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Anonymous Coward

especially for Sarah

"the journal Psychology of Women Quarterly*"

published 4 times a year rather than monthly because ...?

puerile, childish, sexist - yes, I've heard of them

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: especially for Sarah

Nice. Really nice. I bet your mother is proud of you.

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Anonymous Coward

yes she is

paricularly with respect to my sense of humour

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: yes she is

Right.

I hate this thread, and I have absolutely no love for any of you, either. That is all.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: yes she is

In fact, I'm going to hand over to my colleague for this one. Anyone who wants to complain about this evidence of me demanding preferential treatment can email kissthis@thereg.co.uk.

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WTF?

Perhaps women don't want to do the job

Call me stupid (ok, don't) but perhaps women don't want to do the high powered jobs as much as men do?

I bet most men don't want to work in childrens nurseries, I bet most women don't want to work as mechanics.

Perhaps, just perhaps, women/men don't want to do everything that men/women do.

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Go

Glass Cliff? Proudly Canadian Invention!

The Glass Cliff was invented in Canada!

Way back in 1993, our then Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney saw that he was going to get wiped out for his policy decisions (Good and Services Tax, unbalanced Free Trade Agreement favoring the US, etc), stepped down and let Defence Minister Kim Campbell become P.M. for 2-1/2 months.

The party was voted off the map, going from a 151 seat majority to only 2 seats. Ms. Campbell was soundly defeated. Mulroney was such a jerk he didn't even vacate the Prime Minister's residence, Campbell was the only P.M. to never live in the P.M.'s official residence.

Go Canada!

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Anonymous Coward

here's a serious point

"women tend only to be appointed to senior leadership positions when the organisation to be led faces crisis and everything is likely to go wrong, leading to a dearth of men willing to take the helm."

doesn't that imply that women have poor judgement in that they are prepared to take on positions that men eschew?

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@Serious point

Or that so few opportunities are afforded to women that they will take on the most desperate of lost causes in the forlorn hope that they can turn it around and make it work.

I have made that mistake, but I have also seen male colleagues make the same mistake in a promotion-deprived environment.

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Anonymous Coward

I can sympathise but

"they will take on the most desperate of lost causes in the forlorn hope that they can turn it around"

still equates to poor judgement

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I take your point

But when your range of what to make a judgement on is reduced to your choice of the crap left behind by the ones who get to choose the good stuff first, then you're on a hiding to nothing. As I said earlier, this doesn't just affect women, but it does seem to affect women disproportionately. This is only my personal experience, you understand, your mileage may vary.

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I get what you're saying

It is like voting in the U.S. Sure you get to pick but regardless of whether you choose mayo or mustard you still get a shite sandwich.

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iPad...

Should help women stay comfortable and productive throughout the month even on heavy work flow days, its also quite heavy so can be used to beat people who make chauvinistic jokes.

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