Tuesday 5 May 2020

Marla Ahlgrimm | Women Leading Through Crisis

Marla Ahlgrimm
As the coronavirus continues to take a toll on a global scale, Marla Ahlgrimm says there are a few countries that stand out with their response. Denmark, New Zealand, Taiwan, Finland, and a handful of others enjoy fewer infections and have largely skipped over the fear and panic we’ve seen in the United States. So what, exactly, do these countries have that we do not? According to Ahlgrimm, the answer to that question is women in their highest leadership roles.

Marla Ahlgrimm explains that many countries with women in the equivalent of our presidential seat have handled the virus with a drastically different style. In Germany, for example, Chancellor Angela Merkel took to the airways early on. She is noted for remaining calm when telling her country there was a dangerous and highly-contagious virus on its way. Germany enjoys a low per-capita infection rate.

In Taiwan, Pres. Tsai Ing-wen also got a jump on the virus, implementing spread-reduction measures – 104 of them to be exact – as early as January. Her country has been cited by CNN as having one of the world’s best responses to the coronavirus pandemic. Marla Ahlgrimm says that Ing-wen recently sent more than 10 million masks to countries in Europe and to the United States. As of late May, there had only been seven COVID-19 related deaths in her entire country compared to nearly 91,000 in the United States.

Marla Ahlgrimm
New Zealand is another example where female leadership may have helped crush the curve. Jacinda Ardern took the reins early, imposing lockdowns when her country only had six cases. Although this may have felt extreme, the small island nation has suffered less than two dozen deaths and has enjoyed less than 10 new cases diagnosed per day since mid-April.

According to Marla Ahlgrimm, these female leaders represent strength, courage, and decisiveness. That’s not to say that men leaders in other countries have not done a good job, just that these women are excellent examples of how to break gender stereotypes and thrive in traditionally male-held roles.


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