Recognizing the Impact of Women Leaders for Women’s Day
by Amanda Clear
Social and emotional skills are not only a trend but an important trait in enhancing leadership skills. We can see these skills in action across the globe when we pause to look at the work of women leaders. In fact, women use critical soft skills, such as self-awareness, empathy, and motivation, more effectively as leaders than men. As for general leadership skills, such as taking initiative, resilience, integrity, building relationships, and developing others, women score higher than men as well. Angela Merkel is a remarkable example of a woman leader that embodies an authentic leadership style as the Chancellor of Germany for the past 15 years.
Chancellor Merkel is beloved by most of her country. She is referred to as “Mutti” (a term for mother in German) as she has showcased her strong values, humility, and understanding of her country. She portrays a strong face for Germany, yet knows when to show compassion, humility, and empathy. She placed humanity at the forefront as she handled the migration crisis and used analytic reason paired with care as she navigated the COVID-19 pandemic. She combines a traditional approach to leadership embodied compassion. Merkel trail blazes the way for more women leaders to lead with soft skills and a strong foundation, while focusing on the well-being of her constituents.
Perhaps women leaders are just what the world needs right now. Two shining examples for future women leaders are exhibited by Jacinda Arden and Nemonte Nenquimo.
Jacinda Arden – Kindness
- Youngest leader in New Zealand in 150 years, world’s youngest female head of government
- Second elected world leader to give birth while in office
- New Zealand’s most popular leader in 100 years – almost 92% of New Zealander’s support measures she has implemented
- Became known for her compassionate approach to New Zealand’s terrorist attack in March 2019
- Directly handled all press conferences and asked for prayers and comfort for the Muslim community
- Spurred “Jacindamania” – the name for the popular affection New Zealander’s hold for Arden
- World praises Arden again with response to volcano eruption in December 2019 as she added humanity back into politics
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, Arden held conferences and Facebook Live events to answer New Zealander’s questions filled with direct instruction as well as empathy for the volatility of the situation
- Even with strict lockdowns, New Zealand has less than 2,000 cases and 25 deaths with minimal economic impact
- Additionally, Arden has enacted policies for: extended paternal leave, climate change, improving women’s right
“It takes courage and strength to be empathetic, and I’m very proudly an empathetic and compassionate leader. I am trying to chart a different path, and that will attract criticism, but I can only be true to myself and the form of leadership I believe in.”
Passionate – Nemonte Nenquimo
- Has a nonprofit name the Amazon Frontlines – an international group of human right lawyers, environmental activists, farmers and storytellers, defending indigenous people’s land rights.
- Defended the Amazon rainforests from oil companies saving 500,000 acres of the rainforest
- Named Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020
- Awarded the 2020 Goldman Prize for South and Central America
- Apart of the indigenous people that protect 80% of the world’s biodiversity, while comprising less than 5% of the planet’s population.
- She was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize of $200,000, which she donated to her nonprofit, Amazon Frontlines
“So I’ve decided to not only donate $200,000 to protect our way of life in the Amazon, I’m also showing an example of action that needs to be taken. Everybody is talking about the climate crisis, even the multimillionaires and billionaires are talking about it. But they keep getting richer when what we all really need to be doing is taking action.”