Leadership is not just about one’s title or position, it’s more about actions and examples leaders set for others. Throughout 2020, we have had a lot of discussion on leadership and the ones who handled and managed things well, stood out.

Most of these leaders are women. Women from across the globe who have shown the world what thoughtful, decisive and sucessful leadership looks like.

1. Jacinda Ardern

Under Jacinda’s leadership, New Zealand had one of the world’s most effective responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Her party also registered a landslide victory in elections, this year and she went on to select the most diverse cabinet in New Zealand’s history.


2. Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris, became the first woman, the first Black person, and the first Indian-American to be elected as the vice-president of the US. 

USA Today

3. Sanna Marin

World’s youngest prime minister Sanna Marin is a powerful force to reckon with. Despite Finland leading the world in gender-parity, she intends to change the country’s oppressive law that requires trans individuals to undergo mental health screenings and sterilisation if they want to obtain legal gender recognition.


4. KK Shailaja

The 62-year-old Kerala Health Minister has been credited and renowned the worldover for her effective strategy to deal with COVID-19 in the state. Her exceptional work in handling the pandemic was recognised by the United Nations.


5. Ozlem Tureci

Ozlem Tureci co-founded German biotechnology company BioNTech along with her husband Ugur Sahin in 2008. During the coronavirus pandemic, she shifted her research focus to developing a vaccine, in partnership with Pfizer, that is now approved by the UK and other EU states.

Business Standard

6. Nancy Pelosi

Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, made Trump’s impeachment official. In one of her iconic speeches, Pelosi said that Trump must be held accountable and that no one is above the law.


7. Angela Merkel

Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel has handled the COVID-19 situation quite effectively in the country. As a trained quantum chemist she managed the outbreak with her pragmatic policies.


8. Sarah Gilbert

Professor Sarah Gilbert, a veteran Oxford scientist, developed a coronavirus vaccine that is showing promising results. With 25 years of experience in developing vaccines for the flu, Ebola and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Professor Gilbert is truly a real-life hero.


9. Klementyna Suchanow

A writer, editor, translator, and activist, Suchanowhe is the co-founder of the movement, All-Poland Women’s Strike. The organisation played a crucial role in this year’s massive protests by women when a constitutional court in Poland imposed a near-total ban on abortions.


10. Erna Solberg

The Norwegian PM took some tough decisions in the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensured swift response.


11. Nemonte Nenquimo

The first female president of the Waorani in Equador Nemonte also co-founded the nonprofit organization Ceibo Alliance. She stood up against the Ecuadorian government’s plan to allow oil companies to drill in an area of the Amazon rainforests and succeeded in protecting 5,00,000 acres of rainforest from oil extraction.

Amazon Frontlines

12. Nicola Sturgeon

Whe Scotland became the first nation in the world to make sanitary products free, in November, this year, First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon called it an important policy for women and girls.


This is enough evidence to show that women leaders have outperformed their male counterparts and made progress in the most difficult circumstances.