Just 46% Are Wholly Comfortable With Female Political Leaders
Discomfort with female leadership in politics and business remains widespread, with less than half of people in Group of Seven nations fully at ease with a woman running their government or a major company, a study published Tuesday shows.
On average in the G-7, just 46% of society is “very comfortable” with a woman as head of government and 48% with a female CEO of a major national firm, according to a survey by Kantar and the Women Political Leaders group. That indicates some level of discomfort among the rest of respondents, they said.
The data, based on a survey of 22,000 people across 11 countries, suggest that there’s not necessarily a correlation between public attitudes and women’s ascension to power. Canada, which ranked top, has only had one female head of government. In the U.S., which was third most comfortable with a woman in charge, some polls have indicated that potential Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren’s gender could be a concern for voters ahead of the 2020 election.
Conversely, with Angela Merkel just days from completing her 14th year as German chancellor, less than one-third of those surveyed in her country said they were fully at ease with a woman in the role.
In the U.K., the proportion who said men and women are equally suited to both business and political leadership dropped in the past year -- a period that saw Prime Minister Theresa May step down. That change was entirely due to a drop in the number of male respondents who agreed with the view.
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