Is There a Glass Cliff in Local Government Management? Examining the Hiring and Departure of Women

Source: Lang Kate Yang, Laura Connolly, Jennifer M. Connolly, Public Administration Review, Volume 82, Issue 3, May/June 2022
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From the abstract:
Women are underrepresented in public sector leadership positions, including municipal management. We examine one explanation that may contribute to gender inequity in the profession—a “glass cliff” phenomenon whereby councils are more likely to hire women as managers during difficult times, increasing the likelihood for women to fail in the position. Using original observational data on municipal managers in Florida, we test whether municipalities are more likely to hire women during times of fiscal stress and whether women are more likely than men to leave the position if municipal finances do not improve. Our results show that increasing budget deficits are associated with municipalities hiring women as managers. Post-appointment, a lack of improvement in the deficit condition is associated with a higher probability of women, but not men, leaving the position. A glass cliff in municipal management could be one factor that hinders women from advancing within the field.