The COVID-19 pandemic has offered both challenges and opportunities for societies around the world. Global Female Leaders Outlook COVID-19 Special Edition provides insight into female leaders' thoughts about the new reality we, as a society, are facing. Among the 700 female leaders across 52 countries who were surveyed, an optimistic view of the impact of the pandemic on female leadership emerged, due in part to the improved digital communication, technological advances and changes in stakeholder expectations. By embracing the changes, the pandemic has brought, female leaders can prepare themselves to deal with the challenges that may arise.

The report therefore presents the view of COVID-19 as a potential catalyst for a more inclusive workforce. The report includes the following key findings:

  • The proliferation of new digital communication and collaboration tools, alongside a growing talent pool afforded by remote working, may be a catalyst for gender equality.
  • Making a positive impact is a top motivator for female leaders around the world. Diversity and inclusion agendas, as well as climate change are top of mind.
  • Female leaders have seen the digital transformation of their businesses accelerating during the pandemic, but there is still room to improve innovation processes and execution.

Prominent women in Denmark say:


Global Female Leaders Outlook COVID-19 Special Edition

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I find it interesting to see that whilst the crisis has had a disproportionally negative effect on many women, it also appears that the pandemic is a catalyst for creating new opportunities as a result of improved digital communication, changes in stakeholder expectations and overall more flexible ways of working. Personally, I believe that the more flexible ways of working will be a catalyst for increasing the number of female leaders, but it will also be an enabler in general to be an attractive workplace for the future generations of talents.

Trine Vestengen Hopkins, Partner, IGE Advisory

The pandemic has taught us that we need to broaden our perception of what a leader looks like. To create impact, individual leadership styles must evolve alongside global landscapes. More traditional knowledge, related to finance for example, will of course still be important. However, these skills must sit alongside new understandings – flexibility in terms of changing contexts, wider-ranging experiences and a genuine dedication to improving emotional intelligence. Therefore, successful leaders of the future will be more diverse and inclusive – as these broader ranges of talents and skills must co-exist.

Maria Anker Andersen, Consultant, Procurement Transformation

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