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Although the COVID-19 has meant quarantines, lifestyle changes, health tricks, and financial hardships, it has also highlighted how strong communities can be when thoughtful and caring people work together. On top of that, many people have taken note of the swift and decisive way that many female leaders are guiding their communities through this pandemic, sometimes skillfully enough to avoid the impending crisis.

As the threat of COVID-19 spread, leaders around the world had to prepare for the eventuality that the viral infection could spread to their jurisdictions, infect the people for whom they were responsible, and wreak havoc on the economy. Each of these leaders was faced with the same daunting tasks. Why is it that those who seem to have taken on the challenge with the most success are women, even though they only make up 7% of heads of state?

The crucial difference between countries that are doing well despite COVID-19 and those that are not is excellent judgment and timing. Those areas that quickly decided to shut down and devised a clear plan in anticipation of the first infections and deaths have undoubtedly had the most success at slowing the spread, the so-called flattening of the curve that was intended to prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients.

Which countries have managed to flatten the curve? Germany, New Zealand, Iceland, and Finland, to name just a few. And they’re all run by women. Let’s not forget about San Francisco, which was shut down days before other large metropolitan areas at the command of its woman mayor, London Breed. 

Despite their ability to manage situations so fraught with danger, these women still face criticism, sometimes of the very actions that have helped their cities and countries. Traditionally, women leaders have had to temper their competence with warmth, a traditionally female quality that’s expected of them by the very people who deride them for being overly emotional. 

Yet if the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that women are more than capable of making crucial decisions and doing so quickly when time is of the essence. And these women often see their ideas to fruition because they’re not afraid to ask for advice, something that their male counterparts should consider. Female leaders have made educated and quick responses, limiting the damage of COVID and proving that they are the future of leadership.