Female Leaders Handled The Pandemic Better Than Male Ones, British Workers Believe

Exclusive: A poll marking International Women's Day also found that over half believe there should be more women leaders.
Nicola Sturgeon is seen as having had a good pandemic
Nicola Sturgeon is seen as having had a good pandemic
Russell Cheyne via PA Wire/PA Images

Female leaders handled the pandemic better than their male counterparts, according to a poll of working Brits.

The Portland Communications survey, released on International Women’s Day, also found strong support for there being more female leaders in politics.

A total of 3,047 employees across the UK - 1,539 women and 1,508 men - took part in the poll, which looked at public attitudes to women in politics.

They were asked whether they agreed that female leaders, such as Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon, New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern and former German chancellor Angela Merkel, handled Covid-19 better than most leaders.

A total of 49 per cent said they agreed with that statement, compared to just 17 per cent who disagreed.

Meanwhile, 41 per cent agreed that “the Covid-19 pandemic has shown that female leaders are better at handling crisis situations than their male counterparts”, with just 15 per cent saying they did not agree.

More than half - 58 per cent - said there should be more female leaders in politics, with just 9 per cent disagreeing.

Some 60 per cent agreed that “having more female leaders in politics will strengthen gender equality in society more broadly”, compared to just 9 per cent who disagreed.

And asked whether they agreed with the statement “I trust male politicians more than female politicians”, only 16 per cent said they did, compared to 41 per cent who did not.

Kirsten Oswald MP, the SNP women and equalities spokesperson, told HuffPost UK: “It’s welcome that polls show a majority of people want to see more female leaders in politics, and agree that it will strengthen gender equality in society.

“The SNP is strongly committed to women’s equality and is leading the way with progressive policies to improve women’s rights and representation.

“Under the SNP government, Scotland has the first gender-balanced Cabinet in the UK, the first female First Minister, and a record majority of SNP MSPs are women.”

Portland chief executive Mark Flanagan said: “On this International Women’s Day, it’s clear that attitudes about what makes good leadership are changing.

“Traditional traits around strength and confidence are being replaced by listening and communication skills, which are more associated with women.

“Although there is still much to do in terms of female representation at the top, the shift towards valuing empathetic, inclusive leadership is undeniable.”


What's Hot