Women leaders around the world have had considerably more success in slowing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and its general outcomes, and two economists can now explain why.
Only 19 countries around the world are currently led by women, and throughout the first few months of the pandemic, most of them had in common a relative success in fighting the virus. From Bangladesh to Norway to Iceland, a study reveals that some characteristics that are typical to women in leadership positions were instrumental in the success of these countries: “It required big thinking, empathy, and good communication skills,” Dr. Uma Kambhampati, Professor of Economics at the University of Reading and co-author of the study, told Forbes.
After seeing memes trending on social media of successful leaders dealing with COVID-19 being women, Dr. Kambhampati and her colleague, Supriya Garikipati, Associate Professor in Development Economics at the University of Liverpool, decided to look at whether this statement was accurate or not.
To do so, they matched each female-led country with another “neighbor” country led by a male, that is similar in terms of population, age, GDP per capita, health expenditure etc. For example, New Zealand was paired with Ireland and Germany with the United Kingdom. The results were clear, even when the researchers tried dropping countries with outstanding results (good and bad) and matching with other countries. “What we were surprised [by] is how systematic and robust it was,” Dr. Kambhampati said. For example, they tried looking at the data without New Zealand, Germany, and the United States, and the results still overwhelmingly showed that women leaders were doing better.Original Source