The von der Leyen Commission was set to start work on 1 November 2019. However, due to ongoing EU inter-institutional meltdown, the start of the new Commission has been postponed to at least 1 December. Meanwhile, political wranglings at the national level (including the collapse of the government in Romania, as well as Brexit in the UK) have also slowed things down.
Nevertheless, barring major upset, a woman will finally hold the EU’s top job for the first time in the Commission’s 61-year history. Not only that, but Ursula von der Leyen has pushed for a gender-balanced Commission, with 14 of the 27 originally-proposed Commissioners being female (though the rejection of two female nominees has disrupted things slightly, given that the suggested replacements are both male).
Why has it taken us six decades to get a gender-balanced Commission? There are plenty of studies out there indicating that women are better suited to management positions than men, and that they score higher than men in terms of leadership skills. Indeed, as former US President Barack Obama puts it: the world needs more female leaders because “men seem to be having some problems these days”.
What do our readers think? We had a comment sent in from Julie, who argues that gender doesn’t make a difference when it comes to political leadership. She believes it’s all down to the individual, and gender shouldn’t come into it.
To get a response, we put Julie’s comment to Francesca Cavallo, co-creator of the award-winning children’s book “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls” and one of Friends of Europe’s European Young Leaders. What does she think?
To get another perspective, we put the same comment to Mate Rimac, founder & CEO of Rimac Automobili, a Croatian car manufacturer which produces electric sports cars. How would he respond to Julie?
Are women better leaders? Or does gender make no difference when it comes to leadership? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to leaders and experts for their reactions!