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21st Century Female Leaders That Ruled Over the Crisis

July 10, 2020

The outbreak of COVID-19 has put the world leaders in foreign territory. Nonetheless, it seems that female leaders managed to overcome the crisis with fewer casualties than their male counterparts. This is very encouraging for women everywhere, as their position in society or business is often unfavorable. For example, statistics show that women represent a mere 39% of the global workforce.

Here is how female leaders managed to pass the COVID-19 test with flying colors.

How Female Leaders Battled With the Pandemic

Women who were at the head of their countries during the outbreak had to lead the people through dark times. In the process, they sometimes employed unconventional methods to save people’s lives.

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand

The Prime Minister of New Zealand managed to form “a team of five millionby sending out video messages and informing the public about the need to sacrifice for the greater good. She combined mom jokes with talks about restriction measures, and the approach was a massive success.

With daily updates though Facebook Live, Ms. Ardern galvanized the nation and led them through the crisis. The success of her “politics of kindness” reflects in only 1,154 cases and 21 deaths in New Zealand.

Mette Frederiksen, Denmark

The Danish way is also an example of a successful approach to the pandemic. Led by the youngest Prime Minister in Danish history, the country took decisive action against the virus.

Frederiksen held frequent conferences and briefings, but she also posted videos of her doing the dishes. The Danish government issued guarantees on paying 90% of workers’ salaries, which prevented mass layoffs. Anti-COVID measures propelled the nation’s trust in Frederiksen (79%), a once-in-a-generation leader.

Erna Solberg, Norway

The Norwegian Prime Minister has also battled the pandemic with a combination of decisive action and thoughtfulness. For instance, Ms. Solberg reassured children and answered their questions on live TV, saying that it was “OK to feel scared” during the “special days.”

At the same time, Norway was among the first to ban public gatherings and close off its borders. In the end, the approach resulted in 236 deaths, which is low in comparison with neighboring countries.

On top of that, Norway donated $50 million to the WHO to battle the outbreak. Likewise, the country will provide $1 billion to vaccine development programs.

Angela Merkel, Germany

The German chancellor has a scientific background (quantum chemistry), which certainly helped her to provide methodical and factual explanations of the crisis. It was clear that Merkel understood the nuts and bolts of the matter. Thus, the German population felt at ease, and there was no need to panic.  

Early on, the German head of state issued a series of measures to combat the crisis. Contact tracing, though often criticized as a medical manhunt, was one of the key factors in the efforts to contain the virus. It allowed the nation to prepare its defenses and double the number of beds in intensive care units before the pandemic hit with full force.

Even though the number of deaths in Germany rose to 8,498 (at the time of writing), the general feeling is that the nation weathered the pandemic successfully.

Essential Qualities Displayed During the Pandemic

Steering a ship through a storm is never an easy task, let alone when the storm threatens to flood the entire planet.

For that reason, female leaders who confronted the virus had to be tough as nails. At the same time, these women had to show compassion, kindness, and genuine care for the well-being of others.

The list of qualities that successful female leaders showed during the pandemic could go on for days. For instance, the women at the head of states had to be thoughtful, deliberate, humble, and inclusive. While the qualities are typically observed as female, the policy of inclusiveness and understanding are the two of the 21st-century leadership skills, demonstrated by the most successful business leaders nowadays. Once again, it has been proven that traditional leadership models do not yield the best results in the 21st century.

Final Thoughts 

The outbreak of COVID-19 was a high-stakes game. One wrong move and you could end up with high death tolls, which is what happened in the US and the UK. Coincidentally, both of these nations have men at the helm.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, female leaders who challenged the ideals of masculinity have achieved impressive results. In return, their public approval skyrocketed. In essence, the above traits make female leaders so successful in the moments when the going gets tough. That is why all aspiring leaders should mimic the behavior of these women if we want to make this world a better place.

Equity and Inclusion / Social Entrepreneurship
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