What's The Glass Cliff? 7 Ways Female Business Leaders Can Avoid Falling Off.

Image and data by Fundera

What is the Glass Cliff?

Powerful women are transforming the workforce and smashing stereotypes that come along with it more and more with each passing year. Despite these advancements, only 4.8 percent of the top Fortune 500 companies are led by women, and this number is actually lower now than it has been in previous years.

The glass ceiling is a real, invisible barrier women face in the workforce as they try to climb the corporate ladder. Even after this ceiling is shattered, women are then introduced to the glass cliff. 

The glass cliff is a term uncovered in 2004 that describes the phenomenon where high-achieving women are promoted to top positions when a company is underperforming, when risk of failure is greatest. 

Women who accept these precarious positions are 45% more likely to be ousted than their male counterparts. They are also more likely to be challenged by male investors and given less time to turn things around before being let go. 

Some high-profile examples of the glass cliff include Carly Fiorina, formerly of Hewlett Packard, and Carol Bartz, formerly of Yahoo. 

While the statistics around the glass cliff are unsettling, the best way to avoid becoming another example is to be aware of it. Check out these seven tips to avoid falling off the glass cliff before you accept your next promotion: