Why Women Make Better Leaders, Especially In A Pandemic

Ah, these are interesting times, aren’t they? During the coronavirus pandemic, some world leaders have risen to the enormous challenge of steering their country through lockdowns, quarantines, plummeting economies, mass sickness and death, and civil unrest. They have been level-headed, resolute and inspiring. Others, sadly, have sputtered or utterly failed. And who, by and large, have occupied that first group? Women.

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, and Tsai Ing-Wen, President of Taiwan, are just some examples of women leaders around the world who have managed their countries’ response to the pandemic far better than their male counterparts, and as a result, their countries have fared better. This is the subject of a recent article I wrote for Irish Tech News, which you can read here.

What has made these women better leaders?

In the article, I explain how women leaders “were decisive. They were collaborative and inclusive. They brought together scientists and community leaders to develop a galvanized national response with clarity, backed up by research. They used innovative technology to help track and trace those who tested positive. And possibly their countries were easier to manage than some of the men’s because they could close borders or restrict movement.”

But maybe the answer also lies in the fact that there is something intrinsically different in how men and women lead, I state in the article. Neuroscience and scientific research on human evolution are discovering that males and females approach life in very different ways. Women want to bring people together, create collaborative teams and find creative solutions. Men are geared to go into battle against a threat, seeking to subdue and overpower it.

Basically, it’s “we” versus “me.”

Given the differences of men and women, it should come as no surprise that they would see this crisis in very different ways

Male leaders have tried to vanquish the virus with shows of strength, without paying much attention to science or fact-checking. On the other hand, women leaders stressed to their citizens that it will take all of them working together, wearing masks, socially distancing, helping each other out, to tackle this crisis.

Given men’s and women’s very opposing strategies for navigating a threat like coronavirus, I for one prefer women to be in charge.

More about women who know how to lead and do it effectively

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From Observation to Innovation,


Andi Simon, Ph.D.
Corporate Anthropologist | President
Simon Associates Management Consultants

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