By lauracohn
July 13, 2016

I recently wrote about some research that shows a female CEO tends to have twice the number of women on her executive committee than the average male chief exec. Given all the women vying for the world stage, I’ve been wondering whether the trend extends to female world leaders and their cabinets.

With Theresa May set to take over Downing Street tonight as Britain’s second female prime minister after Margaret Thatcher, the focus has shifted to who she will appoint to top jobs. The Financial Times reports that May, who co-founded the Women2Win group to elect more conservative women to parliament, will put females in top positions. Energy secretary Amber Rudd is a possibility for chancellor, the FT says. Justine Greening, international development secretary, could also get a key position. It’s unclear how many women will join May’s government.

But we do know this: Hillary Clinton has explicitly said that if she becomes president, her cabinet will be half female. If she wins and follows through, Vox says it would be unprecedented, citing the Center for American Women and Politics, which tracks the issue.

Michelle Bachelet appointed a gender-equal cabinet when she became Chile’s first female president in 2006. And a male head of state even got in on the action last year when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada famously appointed an even split of men and women to his cabinet.

Turns out there are studies that show female advances at the highest levels of politics tend to inspire other women to run. So here’s hoping the women—or men—who make it to top political positions appoint more females as their closest advisors. Then female CEOs won’t be the only ones paving the way for young women.

Laura Cohn



You May Like