Both authors contributed equally to the paper.
Research Notes and Commentaries
Above the glass ceiling: When are women and racial/ethnic minorities promoted to CEO?
Article first published online: 26 JUL 2013
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Strategic Management Journal
How to Cite
Cook, A. and Glass, C. (2013), Above the glass ceiling: When are women and racial/ethnic minorities promoted to CEO?. Strat. Mgmt. J.. doi: 10.1002/smj.2161
- Article first published online: 26 JUL 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 10 JUN 2013 12:10PM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 5 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 4 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Received: 27 SEP 2012
Using a dataset of all CEO transitions in Fortune 500 companies over a 15-year period, we analyze mechanisms that shape the promotion probabilities and leadership tenure of women and racial/ethnic minority CEOs. Consistent with the theory of the glass cliff, we find that occupational minorities—defined as white women and men and women of color—are more likely than white men to be promoted CEO of weakly performing firms. Though we find no significant differences in tenure length between occupational minorities and white men, we find that when firm performance declines during the tenure of occupational minority CEOs, these leaders are likely to be replaced by white men. We term this phenomenon the “savior effect.” © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.