Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Judy Murray: Anything men can do, women can do better… like running the world

© DAVID ROWLAND/EPA-EFE/ShutterstockNew Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern launches Labour election campaign in New Zealand earlier 
this month
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern launches Labour election campaign in New Zealand earlier this month

Last week I listened to an episode of the Woman’s Hour podcast on BBC Sounds, which posed the question: “Are female leaders managing the Covid-19 crisis better than the men?”

I was interested to hear more about whether politicians, including New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern, Germany’s Angela Merkel and our own Nicola Sturgeon, really have handled the pandemic differently to their male counterparts – especially after I saw new statistics that seemed to back up the theory.

Findings from the Centre for Economic Policy Research and the World Economic Forum, also released last week, showed countries led by women had “systematically and significantly better” coronavirus outcomes thanks to their more proactive and coordinated policy responses.

Initially, I thought it must be a no-brainer. After all, the rapid response of Ms Ardern, for example, has meant Kiwis were one of the first in the world to come out of lockdown, and the country has so far only suffered 22 deaths from the virus – compared to America’s estimated 173,000.

One aspect that may have had an impact is the fact that women, generally, tend to be the more caring and nurturing gender, and so perhaps a desire to protect the population has led to lower death tolls in countries run by female politicians. The data certainly seems to think so, with the researchers pointing out that women were quicker to implement lockdown rules, despite potential for longer-term economic implications.

© PA
Nicola Sturgeon

However, I think one more relevant factor here is that women have had to grow up in a world that is not made for them. Historically, we have not had our voice heard, held power or wielded influence – after all, as James Brown famously sang, this is a man’s world.

As a result, women are naturally more open to seeking advice from others, adapting, learning quickly, and listening – something which seems to have resulted in our female leaders putting their faith in the scientists who have the expertise to lead us out of this pandemic.

In contrast, Donald Trump suggested drinking bleach. I’ll just let that sink in…

Although female-led countries have fared better, I think it’s important to also recognise there are multiple contributing factors outside of gender. Geography, previous experience of viral diseases and population density can all have an effect, as well as how the citizens themselves react to the rules and regulations. So, we can’t say it’s as cut and dried as men vs women.

But it’s also important to remember that only 19 of the almost 200 countries examined in the study are led by women, which means 90% of our world leaders are still men.

We’re still so far behind in terms of equality at the top, where decisions are made, so any acknowledgement that our pioneering women politicians are getting it right can only be a good thing. And, hopefully, Jacinda, Nicola and Angela will inspire a new generation of young women.

After all, anything men can do we can do – better.