Webinar: Why we need women’s leadership

Join Prof. Dianne Bevelander and Prof. Hanneke Takkenberg for a discussion on women’s leadership during COVID-19 and beyond.

Recently, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and Taiwan’s President, Tsai Ing-wen, amongst others, have been justifiably praised for their leadership during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Women in less individually identified positions of leadership have also been praised for the role they have played in this time of global crisis. Foremost amongst these quiet leaders are the 70% of healthcare workers who are women. Over the last few months women have proven time-and-time again that they can lead and that, given the opportunity, they do so extremely well!

Research also informs us that in times of crisis, the leadership challenges for women shift from an environment of ‘glass ceilings’ to one of ‘glass cliffs’. Leadership always involves making tough decisions and leaders cannot always be right, no matter how talented they are. Adverse outcomes are costly in terms of position and reputation, but the cost is far less when times are good than when we face times of crisis. In good times many talented women face the challenge of the glass ceiling—the unseen impenetrable barrier to progression. This often shatters in times of crisis when traditional leaders step back from what is now perceived as a glass cliff—a leadership position requiring decisions of high risk with substantial costs to failure. 

Prof. Dianne Bevelander and Prof. Hanneke Takkenberg will discuss how and why the justified positive perception of women leaders that has developed through the pandemic must be sustained beyond the current crisis. They argue that amplification and sisterhood are the keys to ensuring we do not look back on this time of enormous challenge as an excuse to push amazing talent off the proverbial ‘glass cliff’.


Thursday, 25 June 2020


14:00 - 15:00 (GMT +02:00)



Get tickets here.

More information

The Erasmus Centre for Women and Organisations (ECWO) is committed to women’s continued advancement into leadership positions across multiple sectors – from multinationals and start-ups to not-for-profit organisations. ECWO supports gender-balanced leadership through its management educationresearch and events about gender equality, and by coaching female business leaders. Its strong network leads to women empowerment and gender equality to the benefit of business and society.

EC for women and organisations