As LAW Absolute is a wholly owned female business, and with a new female Prime Minister in power, we felt it relevant to look at whether Liz Truss is the right person to help take the country forward.
After nearly two months of battling it out for the top spot against Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss was announced as the next leader of the UK on Tuesday 6th September 2022, after beating her opponent 57.4% of the vote to 42.6%. She is the UK’s 3rd woman Prime Minister (PM).
So, what do we know about our new Prime Minister?
Her rise to the top started in 2010 when she was first elected to Parliament. In 2012 she became the education minister under the Tory/Lib Dem coalition. In 2014 she joined David Cameron’s cabinet as environment secretary and went on to serve as justice secretary and then chief secretary to the Treasury under Theresa May. She was demoted from justice secretary to chief secretary amid criticisms that she leaked Brexit cabinet talk information. She then most recently worked as international trade secretary and foreign secretary under Boris Johnson. Our new PM has definitely not had the smoothest ride to the top.
A poll carried out by YouGov found that only 12% of Britons expect Liz Truss to be a good Prime Minister, with over half (52%) expecting her to be a poor. Despite the fact Liz Truss has been elected as the new leader of the Tory party, one of the key negative perceptions of her is that she is out of touch with ordinary people (65% hold this view). Even conservative voters who you would usually take a more positive view of her are split with only 39% considering her in touch. This leads us to believe that many doubt her ability to take the country forward.
Therefore, it begs the question, what makes a good leader? Not just a female leader, but a leader in general. (We will focus on why women are stronger in some of these areas)
1) Communication– To build strong working relationships, communication is key. This is necessary to build and establish trust. Women are usually viewed as possessing better softer skills than men and are better at executing it in the corporate world.
2) Teamwork- Sharing ideas, finding solutions, and working collaboratively is essential for any successful team. Women have a natural tendency to be collaborative. Whilst the traditional view is that men can be alpha leaders over favouring collaboration. Collaboration is a more effective leadership style.
3) Accountability– Good leaders take accountability for their team’s performance and their own contribution to that team. Politicians are seen as being a group of people that avoid taking accountability which causes distrust and a lack of faith in the direction the country is going in.
4) Adaptability- Goals can change at any time. To be a good leader it is essential you are adaptable and focus on solutions regardless of the scenario in front of you.
5) Patience- Women are viewed as being more patient than men. They don’t tend to rush into decisions. Small steps towards a specific goal are better than a hurried decision which in the long term may hinder growth.
6) Motivation/Positivity/Empathy– Encouragement, appreciating effort, rewards and engagement are usually traits found more commonly in women. Previous polls have found that employees managed by women are more engaged than those managed by men. High levels of emotional intelligence and empathy are necessary when focusing on retention.
7) Ethical behaviour- Good leaders irrespective of gender, will lead with the rights and viewpoints of others in mind. Trust, honesty, consideration, fairness and respect are necessary traits and values of a good leader.
Regardless of your political views, it is clear Liz Truss has a big job ahead of her with many trials and tribulations ahead.
We leave it up to you to decide whether Liz Truss possesses the skills listed above and is the right person for the job.