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date: 13 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

It has been twenty-five years since the metaphor of the glass ceiling was coined to describe gender inequality in higher management. This chapter focuses on evidence of a relatively subtle form of gender discrimination that is encountered once women have broken through the glass ceiling, captured by the newer metaphor of the glass cliff. The glass cliff captures the phenomenon that the leadership positions that women obtain typically prove to be more risky and precarious than those of men. We summarize archival and experimental evidence that demonstrates the existence of a glass cliff and helps us understand the processes causing it. We outline questions for future research and discuss implications for policy and practice.

Keywords: glass cliff, glass ceiling, leadership, organizational performance, gender stereotypes, gender discrimination

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