Conference Publication Details
Mandatory Fields
Mulcahy, M. B., and Linehan, C.
British Academy of Management
Females and Precarious Leadership Positions: Further Evidence of the Glass Cliff
Optional Fields
Liverpool, UK

The “glass cliff” posits that when women do achieve high profile roles, these are at firms in a precarious position.  Previous research tested for evidence of the glass cliff by monitoring appointments (male or female), estimating the precariousness of the firms to which the appointments were made and drawing inferences about the glass cliff from resulting correlations.  This study is different insofar as it directly measures causation between the reporting of an initial loss (as evidence of unequivocal precariousness) and changes in board gender diversity.  The sample is those companies listed on the UK stock exchange reporting an initial loss in the years 2004–2006.  Because gender diversity has been to the forefront of corporate governance research for the last decade, a closely matched control sample is also used in a difference-in-difference analysis to avoid inadvertently attributing any improvements arising from system wide changes in gender diversity to the initial loss event.  Findings suggest that when the initial loss is ‘big’ (representing a relatively more precarious situation), there is a difference in the increase in gender diversity versus both the control and the ‘small’ initial loss subsamples across the test period, i.e. evidence of the glass cliff. 

Grant Details