Why Women Are Being Made CEOs When Businesses Are In Crisis

If you’ve been thinking there have been a lot of female leaders under fire lately, you might have noticed the glass cliff phenomenon.

The glass cliff is when a woman is put into a position of leadership during a company crisis.

Fortescue Metals chief executive Fiona Hick and the Australia Post chief executive Christine Holgate have both had to resign after relatively short tenures and major issues at their companies.

Now RBA boss Michelle Bullock and Qantas chief executive Vanessa Hudson have both just been appointed during very murky times for both organisations.

In this episode of The Briefing, Antoinette Lattouf speaks with Shivani Gopal, chief executive of EllaDex, about what needs to be done to change this phenomenon.

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Ms Gopal said provides an easy-to-understand definition of what the glass cliff phenomonem is.

“The glass cliff however, is essentially women being placed into leadership positions, and then where women are at risk of falling off this incredible platform of leadership,” she said.

“Why? Because women are more likely to be placed in leadership positions when they are high visibility, but also high-risk roles when basically a whole bunch of stuff has gone wrong.

“And so, someone’s gone, well let’s get a woman to come in and clean the mess. Women come in and take these positions, but they are more likely to be at risk and fall off the other side because they’re full of scrutiny and they’re incredibly hard to navigate.”

To hear what Ms Gopal further has to say about ensuring the success of women in high management roles, listen to the episode of The Briefing.

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