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Are Women Leaders Doomed to Fail?

Dr. Maria Sampalis talks about the glass cliff and putting women leaders in positions where they are doomed to fail
Dr. Sampalis

In a recent column in Corporate Optometry Careers, Maria Sampalis, OD, issues a warning about the glass cliff. The glass cliff describes situations where women are put into leadership positions when the company is facing duress or crisis. In other words, the house is already on fire – increasing their likelihood of failure.

woman climbing sheer mountain face - seen from above
Photo credit: Getty Images/Adam Strong

She cites nine cases of women who rose to the C-suite when shares or sales were down, the pandemic started, the industry was being turned upside down or the bottom fell out of the market. This stacked the odds against them even more.

UNDERSTANDING IS EMPOWERMENT

That’s relevant to optometry because knowing the pattern exists can help others break it.

She writes, “Understanding is empowerment. Recognizing certain patterns is crucial for the future of eye care professionals. Awareness of potential outcomes enables us to break the cycle. Pay attention to how women are promoted in our industry; it allows you to redirect your focus, seek details and demand resources essential for success in our roles. When women hold leadership positions in our field, they can empathize with the challenges we encounter daily. This contributes to narrowing the leadership gap in eye care. Their success will be our future success as we strive for leadership roles in our industry.


“When women hold leadership positions in our field, they can empathize with the challenges we encounter daily. This contributes to narrowing the leadership gap in eye care.”

“Can you see certain patterns within your small optometric practice or within larger organizations? What can you do as a leader within your practice, state and national organizations to make your mark and be a catalyze for change in our industry? Leadership is not just a title, it is an action.”

Read her whole article here.

Listen to a podcast with Dr. Sampalis: Push Through the Fear here.

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