<ONLINE> International Symposium, Institute for Global Leadership (Dec 23, 2022)


International Symposium

“Climbing up the Glass Cliff: Another Invisible Barrier Behind the Glass Ceiling?” (Friday, December 23, 2022)

Although the number of women in leadership positions in Japan is increasing, especially with the efforts of the government to realize a society where men and women alike take on leadership roles, the ratio of women in the top management in Japan is negligible compared with other countries.

Today, many of us are familiar with the concept of the glass ceiling, which are invisible barriers that keep women from leadership positions. In contrast, we witness talented women leaders worldwide in a time of crisis, proving that women can lead organizations as effectively as men.

In the early 2000s, Professors Michelle Ryan and Alex Haslam explored the phenomenon that women are more likely to be selected to top management during times of crisis or downturn. This appointment may be unstable, and the risk of failure is higher. They named this phenomenon “the glass cliff.” Evidently, this type of leadership environment is unsuitable for fostering female leaders. The Institute for Global Leadership, Ochanomizu University, takes the opportunity to explore this subject with distinguished researchers in this field. By discussing the underlying fundamental problems of the glass cliff and prospects for the strategy to overcome it, we aim to contribute to women’s leadership. We invite you to join this inspiring discussion where the focus will be on women’s leadership education.

  • Date and Time: Friday, December 23, 2022 16:40-19:00 (Japan Standard Time) 
  • Venue: Zoom Webinar and Offline (Inter-Faculty Building 2-201) 
  • Simultaneous interpretation available (English/Japanese)
  • Audience: Open to the public
  • Prior registration required: Registration Form Webinar, Offline


Opening Remarks 16:40-16:45

Yoko Totani, Professor, Director of Institute for Gender Studies, Ochanomizu University

Introduction of the Speakers 16:45-16:50
Makoto Kobayashi (Professor, Director of Institute for Global Leadership, Ochanomizu University)
Presentations 16:50-18-30 (30 minutes for each presentation)Click here for detail.

Ryan Michelle, Professor, Director of Global Institute for Women's Leadership, The Australian National University

“Uncovering the Glass Cliff: Women’s leadership roles in times of crisis”
Midori Kokubo, Professor, Ritsumeikan University (Japan) The choice of leader in crisis – glass cliff and agentic leader
Helen Peterson, Professor, Örebro University (Sweden) Beyond the Glass Cliff? Women leaders in Swedish Higher Education
Comment 18:30-18:40
Rie Okamura, Project Lecturer, Institute for Global Leadership, Ochanomizu University
Q&A 18:40-18:55
Closing Remarks 18:55-19:00
Masako Ishii-Kuntz (Trustee and Vice President of Ochanomizu University)

Moderator: Fumie Ohashi, Associate Professor, Institute for Gender Studies, Ochanomizu University

Biographies of the speakers

■Ryan Michelle, Professor, Director of Global Institute for Women's Leadership, The Australian National University
Michelle Ryan is a Professor of Social and Organisational Psychology and the inaugural Director of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at the Australian National University. She recently completed a European Research Council Consolidator Grant to investigate how context constrains women’s careers choices. With Alex Haslam, she has uncovered the phenomenon of the glass cliff, whereby women (and members of other minority groups) are more likely to be placed in leadership positions that are risky or precarious. Research into the glass cliff was named by the New York Times as one of the top 100 ideas that shaped 2008, and in 2016 the term “the glass cliff” was shortlisted as Word of the Year by the Oxford English Dictionary.

■Midori Kokubo, Professor, Ritsumeikan University
Midori Kokubo is a dean and a professor of the Graduate School of Business Administration and College of Business Administration at Ritsumeikan University. She has researched the effects of leadership behavior in high-uncertainty environments, part-time workers’ job attitudes, and gender differences in students’ choice of career. Recently she has investigated the leadership behavior in crisis, in relation to which she has developed an interest in the phenomenon of the glass cliff and conducted experiments.

■Helen Peterson, Professor, Örebro University
Helen Peterson received her Ph.D. in sociology in 2005, from Uppsala University, Sweden. She is currently a professor in sociology at Örebro University, Sweden. Peterson has researched the Swedish higher education sector and the European science and innovation sector through a gendered lens for over 10 years. Her focus has been on academic management and leadership, women’s careers in male-dominated fields, gender mainstreaming and policy implementation.

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