Extending the metaphor of the glass ceiling, ‘the glass cliff’ describes the phenomenon whereby individuals belonging to particular groups are more likely to be found in leadership positions that are associated with a greater risk of failure and criticism.
According to research by the University of Exeter, women and minority groups are, for example, more likely to be appointed as CEOs of a failing company rather than a successful one, making their position risky and difficult.
See also: glass ceiling
University of Exeter Psychology Department. Available at: http://psychology.exeter.ac.uk/research/glasscliff/