EletiofeWomen's Month: Countries with past and present female leaders...

Women’s Month: Countries with past and present female leaders and managers

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March is women’s month.

 Saara Kuugongelwa is the prime minister of Namibia [Wikipedia]

The theme of women’s day this year is breaking the bias. One way women can be disadvantaged is by not allowing them to assume leadership roles. How have countries broken the bias?

Statista reports the percentage of female bosses in the world between 2016 and 2020. These positions are in human resources, administration, finance, marketing or public relations.

“If you are working in Togo, Nigeria, Jordan or several countries included in the below list, it is actually more likely that your boss is a woman than a man,” Statista reports.

In Nigeria, 64.4% of managerial positions are filled by women. Business Insider Africa reports a much lower percentage for executive positions. “The average percentage of women at the executive level is 20 per cent which is higher than the global average of 17 per cent.”

It should come as no surprise. In 2021, Nigeria inaugurated eight female CEOS in its 23 banks. This is not complete equality, but we are getting there.

Miriam Olusanya of Guaranty Trust Holding Company, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe of Fidelity Bank, Tomi Somefun of Unity Bank, Yemi Edun of FCMB , Bukola Smith of FSDH Merchant Bank, Halima Buba of SunTrust, and Kafilat Araoye of Lotus Bank were made CEOs in 2021.

The amazing thing is these women are overly competent and it was not just a quota position.

But more advanced countries have a lower quota. The highest-ranking European country is Belarus with 50.5 per cent female managers.

In Fortune 500 companies, only 15% have female CEOs. Lisa Su of Advanced Micro Devices is still the highest-paid female CEO worth $383 Million in 2022 while Elon Musk of Tesla is worth $593.2 million. Not bad Lisa!

Lisa Su is the richest female CEO [Forbes]

Only 63 countries out of the 193 recognised by the United Nations have had female presidents since 1960. The first elected female Prime Minister in the world was Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka in 1960.

Sirimavo Bandaranaike, Prime Minister of Ceylon in 1960 [Wikipedia]

What’s the status now? Statista reports on this; “At the beginning of 2022, there were 14 countries led by women.”

Honduras’ first female president assumed office on January 27, 2022.

14 is a meagre amount compared to the 100 others led by men but it is a start.

New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern did an excellent job in New Zealand during coronavirus. She is credited for enacting policies that controlled the coronavirus pandemic.

Iceland also has a female prime minister, Katrin Jakobsdottir. She helped make environmental policies that reduced global warming and prevented the economy from crashing.

Hilda Heini is the president of the archipelago in the South Pacific, known as the Marshall Island. Dr Heini was the first person from the island to get a doctorate and carry out measures to prevent global warming.

Saara Kuugongelwa has been the prime minister of Namibia since 2015, because of her leadership and fights against corruption, the country had a budget surplus for the first time.

Women also makes mistakes as leaders, Finland Female Prime Minister, Sanna Marin was in the news in 2021 for partying after Covid-19 contact.

Statista reports, “The women who have served the longest consecutive terms in these positions are Angela Merkel of Germany (16 years, 16 days), Dame Eugenia Charles of Dominica (14 years, 328 days), and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia (12 years, 6 days).”

“The longest combined non-consecutive terms were held by Indira Gandhi of India (16 years, 15 days) and the current Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina (over 18 years in total.

Margaret Thatcher, the first female Prime Minister of Britain governed the country for 11 years.

Amazingly, the US just had its first female Vice President, Kamala Harris in 2021.

The journey has only begun, although progress has been made, there is more to come.

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