Since the beginning of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there’s been a lot of media attention paid to the relationship between female leaders at the helm of various nations and the effectiveness of their handling of the COVID-19 crisis.
The actions of female leaders in Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway, Iceland, Finland, Germany, Taiwan and New Zealand are cited as supporting evidence that women are managing the crisis better than their male counterparts. Resilience, pragmatism, benevolence, trust in collective common sense, mutual aid and humility are mentioned as common features of the success of these women leaders.
It would be easy to conclude outright that women make better leaders than men. Our academic education and experience as certified corporate directors, however, tell us that would be an overly simplistic verdict, and it’s actually more complicated than that.
Equitable countries managing pandemic better.
Let’s broaden our perspective. What if countries led by women are managing the pandemic more effectively not because they are women, but because the election of women is a reflection of societies where there is a greater presence of women in many positions of power, in all sectors?
Greater involvement of women results in a broader perspective on the crisis, and paves the way for the deployment of richer and more complete solutions than if they had been imagined by a homogeneous group.
Let’s see how this hypothesis holds up, based on the World Economic Forum’s annual study on gender parity among countries that are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).