Glass cliffs: firms appoint female executives in times of crisis as a signal of change to investors

The glass cliff hypothesis suggests that female executives are more likely to be put in charge when the company is already in a crisis. Yet research has found mixed evidence for the existence of glass cliffs in the business world. Max Reinwald, Johannes Zaia, and Florian Kunze analyse 26,156 executive appointments of public companies in the United States between 2000 and 2016 and show that crisis firms are about 50% more likely to appoint a female executive than noncrisis firms to send a signal of change to their investors.

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