Are Women Leaders Better Than Their Male Counterparts? Lessons from the Pandemic

How Women Leaders Were More Effective Than Their Strongmen Counterparts

The Covid 19 Pandemic has taught several lessons. Right from the crisis of neoliberalism to the way in which the leaders of the countries and the businesses provided leadership, the pandemic has made us realize some bitter truths about our leaders.

For instance, all the Strongmen leaders such as Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, and Narendra Modi, have failed spectacularly in managing the economic and societal fallouts of the pandemic.

In contrast, Jacinda Adern of New Zealand, and the women leading many Nordic Countries, and Taiwan, and not to leave out Bangladesh, has proved that they are miles ahead of their male counterparts in leading from the front.

Indeed, if not anything, the Pandemic has highlighted the need for compassionate leadership and yet, a firm hand, that was strangely missing from the actions of the so-called Strongmen and Authoritarian leaders.

What can be a more appalling sight than Donald Trump indulging in fantasies and peddling conspiracy theories instead of providing succour and relief to the victims?

On the other hand, Adern and other women leaders showed that they outpace their fellow leaders as far as resolute leadership is concerned.

How the Women Leaders Prioritized and Allocated Resources in an Efficient Manner

So, what makes these women better leaders than men as far as leading from the front is concerned?

To start with, they have not reduced leadership to spectacle and pomp and pageantry and instead, focused on the Hard Decisions that were needed to be taken.

Indeed, this lesson or insight from the leaders is the most important one as Modi, Trump, and Johnson were either busy with media management and other aspects rather than on the ground leadership, whereas the Women leaders were adopting a Boots on the Ground approach.

Moreover, even where it concerned the allocation of resources and the apportioning of relief measures, the Strongmen focused on taking the credit rather than enacting or passing genuine relief and stimulus measures whereas the women leaders ensured that relief reaches the needy and the poor and those who need it most.

Indeed, it goes without saying that leaders such as Adern and the Taiwanese and the Nordic country premiers were not only the first to implement lockdowns, but, were also the fastest to provide stimulus and other bailout measures.

This goes on to show how they prioritized what was needed to be done rather than what looked good on Television.

Why the Pandemic Does Not Need Rambo’s and Instead, Needs a Healing Touch

Having said that, we are not saying that women are always better than men in all spheres of leadership.

Indeed, this would be a gross injustice to the many men of the world who showed exemplary courage and compassion in dealing with the after effects of the pandemic.

Rather, our argument is the failure of the so-called Strongmen such as Trump, Putin, Modi, Johnson, and Bolasanaro, who came to power riding on the waves of populism and authoritarianism.

What is ironic is that their claim to fame was that they assured and promised the voters that they would deal with the problems faced by their citizens in a strong and masculine fashion rather than in a weak manner.

However, as the Pandemic showed, one does not need a Rambo and instead, what one needs is a leader who can understand and relate to the pain and suffering of their citizens and followers.

Indeed, this is where the Soft and the Healing Touch of the Women leaders made a difference as they could be strong and tough when needed and sensitive and light footed wherever needed.

Perhaps, what the world needs right now are these traits among leaders rather than machismo.

The Case for More Women in the Boardrooms and In Executive Positions in Corporates

These lessons from the Pandemic should be a wakeup call to the Businesses worldwide as and when they decide on succession planning and the vital decisions on whom to promote or not.

Indeed, business leaders worldwide must take cues from the success of the women leaders of the various countries discussed above and not hesitate to promote women to the Boards or to Executive and Leadership positions.

The pandemic has shown us that Diversity and Inclusivity goes a long way in healing and helping nations recover from the Pandemic.

Similarly, as businesses world over start their recovery from the deep economic and societal scars wrought by the Pandemic, they must keep in mind that women leaders can play a critical role in steadying the Ships in the Turbulent Oceans of the Pandemic induced crises.

Moreover, women leaders have shown that the necessary feminine traits of caring and sharing during health emergencies can be expanded to the entire populations of the countries and at the same time, their tough stances against violators and errant officials have shown that they do not hesitate to wield the stick when needed.

Perhaps, it is time for businesses to acknowledge the contributions of women leaders.


Last, despite all this, there are raging battles in many corporates world over about inducting women to the boards.

For instance, in India, there is a hotly contested battle over nominating an heiress of the Murugappa group to the Board and there are other examples as well.

Our recommendation is that this is the time for taking decisions based on the interests of the whole rather than some cogs and hence, patriarchal attitudes must not come in the way of sensible decisions.

To conclude, with the world in crisis, old prejudices must give way to the new and emerging orders.

❮❮   Previous Next   ❯❯

Authorship/Referencing - About the Author(s)

The article is Written and Reviewed by Management Study Guide Content Team. MSG Content Team comprises experienced Faculty Member, Professionals and Subject Matter Experts. We are a ISO 2001:2015 Certified Education Provider. To Know more, click on About Us. The use of this material is free for learning and education purpose. Please reference authorship of content used, including link(s) to and the content page url.