Why Men Still Get More Promotions Than Women
The Glass Cliff
Ibarra et al suggest that high-potential women often miss out on sponsorship, an element of mentoring that increases the incidence and speed of candidates’ promotion to upper management positions. Bruckmuller and Branscombe illustrate in their article, The Glass Cliff, a gender partiality that exists when companies look to hire a new executive. Companies with predominantly male executives and in stable financial states are more likely to hire another male executive, while a tanking company with male executives will favor the female candidate.
Both articles contribute evidence to further back the claim that women receive fewer promotional opportunities than men and identify how our common assumptions about gender and leadership impede our movement towards gender equality. However, neither article does well to disarm the biased reader, consequently placing the transmission of an invaluable message at risk. If the authors’ underlying purpose for writing these articles is to promote equal opportunity at all organizational levels as a means to optimize the utility of available human resources, they do not effectively communicate their message.
At first glance, it appears that these articles intend to increase awareness of the additional roadblocks women face on their way to executive suites. Numbers, experiments, and thorough analysis confirm that this is so. I have no doubt that a young ambitious female professional would likely feel outraged at the sight of these figures and feel compelled to join the crusade. However, a man who does not see the benefits of women in management or a woman who does not aspire to be a manager might perceive these articles as personal grievances and greet them with discord. Such an individual might contest that since every author is female, the articles are therefore biased and the integrity of the articles is...