Woman gets top job

The news that Theresa May has been appointed leader of the Conservative Party, and tomorrow will Prime Minister, brought back to my mind some research I came across while developing my new module. She is adamant she will make a success of Brexit; that which has been called the poisoned chalice, and long “May” she succeed (the pun headline writers will surely be having a field day after Cameron).Here is the excerpt from Human Resource Development (second edition) by David McGuire:

“The concept of the ‘glass cliff’ was introduced by Michelle Ryan and Alexander Haslam (2004) to explore a phenomenon whereby women’s suitability for promotion rises when the chances of failure increases. In their research, Ryan and Haslam (2007) found that because women were more likely to be appointed to top management positions during crisis periods, the rise to their leadership increase and they are more likely to encounter rising levels of conflict and higher stress levels leading to greater exposure to criticism.”

Of course, May has been compared to Margaret Thatcher. This is largely because that was the only other woman to ever hold her new position. Although they are of the same political persuasian, May’s standing in that regard has already been questioned. Immediately after her inaugural speech yesterday, she was criticised for stealing the content, mainly from New Labour but also from a host of other prominent (male) politicians. Because a woman can’t have her own ideas. And it obviously goes without saying that she only got the job because everyone else pulled out…

I think (hope, pray) she will do a good job.

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