Women World Leaders

By: Nichola Gutgold  

President. Prime Minister. Chancellor. These words evoke images of power, leadership and tradition. They also bring to mind the male dominance that has been a part of those offices since their inception. Yet, in parts of the world, women leaders are gaining ground. Indeed, women’s leadership is not new. As Robert Watson points our, history has witnessed the leadership of Cleopatra, Saint Joan of Arc, Marie Antoinette, Catherine the Great, and Queens Isabella, Elizabeth and Victoria. The world over, women have led.In the Philippines, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo succeeded Corazon Aquino and in Nicaragua, Violeta Chamorro was president. Angela Merkel leads Germany and Mireya Mosoco leads Panama. Recently, South Korea elected its first female president, Park Geun-hye. In Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Keterovic is president. Have these women faced the same gender constraints as women running in the United States? In more than thirty other countries women serve as president or prime minister. But in the United States, Secretary of State is the glass ceiling for women and leadership. What has kept the United States from having a woman president? Is it the harsh press treatment? The history of male dominance? Is it the power of money in electoral politics? Do other governmental structures make it easier to elect women? Perhaps there is something the United States could learn from countries that have elected women leaders? This discussion will consider how women around the world have successfully communicated leadership, with special focus on the role of the digital age.

Women, Rhetoric, President, Media, Gender, Male Dominance, Communication, Style
2019 Special Focus: The Future of Democracy in the Digital Age
Focused Discussion

Nichola Gutgold

professor, communication , Penn State , United States
PA, United States

I am a professor of communication at Penn State University. I have researched and published extensively on women leaders, particularly women US presidential candidates.