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Women better leaders of countries during Covid-19... Is it?

Almost like clockwork, you could count on some articles like this one to appear:

picture of forbes article on female leaders during coronavirus

I saw it when a guy shared it on Linkedin -probably to virtue signal his progressive views and his reading habits. Good boy-.

A More Scientific Approach to Dispel Personal Agendas

The article tried to work in there some numbers.

But, in truth, the author had no data to prove that "countries with female leadership fared better than countries with male leadership".
And neither have I the data to dispute it, for that matter (but keep reading and we'll see why we don't need any).

That data would take a lot of work to obtain, and you'd have to account for so many confounding factors that would make your head spin.

Even if someone did that though, it still wouldn't be possible to prove that it wasn't just randomness unless we replay the same scenario a few thousand times.

Finally, even if we did that, we should then compare those handfuls of female leaders and make sure that they are representative of a more generalized "female genetic predisposition" that made that leadership more effective compared to a more "male genetic predisposition" and not, again, simple randomness that made those women atypical and different from the rest of the female population.

Yeah... Doing good science can be a lot of work.
And it's even more challenging with people and social constructs -like leadership is-.

Ultimately, that article is an opinion piece. And my opinion on it, is that it's a nonsense article.
The author is also a businesswoman counseling on "gender-balanced businesses", so it's probably marketing -and I'd wonder how she keeps that "gender balance" neutral, with that attitude-.

Back to Tribalism We Go: "My Gender's Better Than Yours"

I find these articles backward and tribalist.

As if to say "look at us how better we are".
And of course, when people get too busy to remind others how better they are, that's often because they don't feel too good with themselves.

I also find them to be offensive to women: who said that a woman could not do not better than a man, in this or that endeavor?
And yes, that might include leadership under certain circumstances.

The Bigger Picture: Male Build & Destroy, Women Maintain

There are actually are plenty of scientific studies on leadership and genders.

And it's true that in many measures of leadership women do better (albeit most studies were about management, more than crisis leadership).

But that doesn't take it into account the bigger picture, and that it's male competitiveness and drive that built much of the civilization that those women were presiding over.
Without men, those women would be probably leading countries -or tribes- where the covid-19 records would be kept on a cave wall -OK, that might have been an exaggeration for shock-value, but you get the point-.

But that, in turn, doesn't take into account that male competitiveness, especially at the extremes, can -and often did- turn anti-social and destructive.

Female leadership, in that sense, removes the male excesses and often makes for better management.

But of course, the best is not to have one or the other, but to mix them.
Again, we go back to the obvious conclusion that both styles are much more effective when they work together, taking the best of both worlds.

So simple, yet it just seems to be such a difficult concept for some to grasp...

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A quick update on this one:

Is it a good approach to get so "tough" on Covid?
I don't know, up to interpretation.

Is this the prime minister's fault that the individuals left the quarantine early n New Zeland?
Not sure, I haven't read the article word for word because most news aren't worth the time.
But probably not.
What does matter though is how this case links to the previous (nonsense) article, and what it says about two general trends:

  • Fooled by randomess: people who jumped on conclusions as to who was the "best president / leader" based on a few weeks of previous Covid history were being fooled by randomness. A few countries did better in good part because of randomness, or because they saw some other countries who got it first and they had time to prepare. And of course, the advantage of governing an island (Taiwan / New Zeland). But all it takes is a new spike, an idiot with Covid who goes out partying, and the president / leader has little control over it. Which leads us to the second point:
  • Man at the top bias: the belief that the man (or woman) at the top has almost unlimited control over what happens. It's intertwined with fooled by randomness.

 

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