Avoiding the Glass Cliff: Lessons Learned From Leaders in the Field

Friday, November 17

11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Avoiding the Glass Cliff: Lessons Learned From Leaders in the Field


In 1978, consultant Marilyn Loden coined the term “glass ceiling” to describe the barriers women face moving up the corporate ladder. The “glass cliff” is an evolution of that phenomenon that further examines these barriers through a racial lens. It has broadened to describe the unenviable position many BIPOC leaders find themselves in as they ascend to the highest echelons of an organization with little to no board or organizational support.

BoardSource has partnered with the Building Movement Project to develop resources to assist boards in preparing these leaders to face the challenges and triumphs of leading organizations with a racial equity lens. Through reports, surveys, and analysis, we have examined the factors that have the potential to lead to the success or failure of a BIPOC leader. As we continue this work, we are engaging leaders to determine what happens when a BIPOC leader takes over the helm at an organization previously led by a White leader. Attendees will take part in these conversations and learn about our research to better understand why it is important that boards ensure the succession and transition plan for BIPOC leaders is effective and infused within a race equity lens.

150 150 Ian Pullens
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