Research into the glass cliff examines what happens when women and people in minority groups take on leadership roles. Extending the metaphor of the glass ceiling, 'the glass cliff' describes the phenomenon whereby individuals belonging to particular groups are more likely to be found in leadership positions that are associated with a greater risk of failure and criticism.
Research by Ryan, Haslam and colleagues in the School of Psychology at the University of Exeter has had an impact outside of traditional academic circles. The team seeks to address gender discrimination in the workplace by providing evidence to challenge industry preconceptions around women's performance, and also engaging with businesses and organisations to educate them and help develop more appropriate HR systems. The team achieves these aims through three main knowledge transfer activities: promotion of the research through the media, business engagement through workshops and industry conferences, and by catalysing change in organisations.