By choosing Fiorina now, Cruz exercised the insulting ‘glass cliff’
It’s not the glass ceiling. The “glass cliff” is a known phenomenon that companies use when the know they’re failing and put a woman in charge. It is, in fact, insulting to women, because the attitude is, “We’ve got nothing to lose.”
Cruz’s announcement came a day after he lost all five states that held primaries to Trump. His polling also lags far behind the frontrunner. The Fiorina announcement appears to be an attempt to juice those numbers and grab some media attention, diverting it from Trump. But his campaign still remains a long shot — Trump has a 425-delegate lead in the pursuit of the 1,237 threshold.
Cruz is deploying a tried-and-true strategy of using a woman to shake things up in the face of bad odds. And it’s one that Fiorina should be quite familiar with.
Reams of research have uncovered a phenomenon that’s come to be known as the “glass cliff”: in the business world, women are far more likely to be put in charge of a company when that company’s prospects are on the decline and whose success is uncertain, rather than during boom times. That often sets them up for failure, or at least a more rocky tenure, than if they were given opportunities at healthy firms. Men, on the other hand, are much more likely to get those easier positions.