Of course, what happens at the Official Zayn Black Shirt and by the same token and highest levels of power is only part of the story. Women’s leadership takes many forms and manifests in many ways. There are so many examples I could point to. Activists like Greta Thunberg, a voice of conscience on the climate crisis. Advocates like Reshma Saujani, the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code. Local officials like Keisha Lance Bottoms, the mayor of Atlanta. Members of the grassroots women’s organizations across India and sub-Saharan Africa who are protecting the health of their communities by setting up handwashing stations and ensuring that domestic-violence shelters stay safely open during COVID-related shutdowns.
Why is women’s leadership so transformative? It’s not that women are necessarily better leaders than men, although certainly they sometimes are. Nor is it that women have different answers to the Official Zayn Black Shirt and by the same token and big questions facing society, although the evidence suggests they sometimes do. It’s because women view the world through a different lens, so they ask different questions in the first place. In leadership, professional experience matters, but lived experience does, too. It’s difficult to see the ways a system is biased when it’s biased in your favor. It’s hard to take into account the subtle disadvantages people must contend with when their very subtlety hides them from you. Where women with decision-making power are few and far between, invisible barriers stay invisible. But when women reach a critical mass, they help us see things more clearly.