THE GLASS CLIFF de Sophie Williams

THE GLASS CLIFF is a conversation about what happens when women break the rules, and break through The Glass Ceiling.

Why Women in Power are Undermined and How to Fight Back
by Sophie Williams
Macmillan Business, March 2024
(via Randle Editorial & Literary Consultancy)

Have you ever wondered why there are so few success stories of women in business leadership? Or maybe you’ve wondered what life is really like on the other side of The Glass Ceiling? The world of work is supposedly changing, embracing diversity – yet are the opportunities we’re giving to women really equal to those of men?

Drawing on almost 20 years of research from around the world, The Glass Cliff phenomenon – whereby women are often only hired in leadership roles when a business is already underperforming, meaning their chances of success are limited before they ever even start in the role – is well established, but little known. Until now.

This is the story of The Glass Cliff: a story of a structural inequality disguising itself as the personal failures of women. When activist Sophie Williams gave her viral TED talk on the subject, she was subsequently flooded with accounts of confident, accomplished women who had taken what seemed like a dream leadership role only to quickly find themselves in a waking nightmare. Without the language to describe their experiences they had been left blaming themselves. But learning about The Glass Cliff enabled them to reframe and reexamine what they’d gone through.

Sophie Williams is a professional speaker, the author of Millennial Black & Anti-Racist Ally, a TED speaker, the voice behind @OfficialMillennialBlack, and a racial equity consultant. As a speaker, Sophie regularly delivers keynotes, presentations, workshops and training sessions for businesses such as Apple, Amazon, Google, Barclays, the NHS and more. Sophie’s writing has appeared in publications such as The Guardian, Bustle, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Refinery29, Elle and Grazia.

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