Four years ago I was on a plane from the USA returning into Melbourne as I walked through customs and immigration Julia Gillard was in front of me, on her own navigating the hordes of people and collecting her own luggage from the carousel. Not that this surprised me she is a remarkable individual but what brought this into sharp relief was the actress Charlise Theron was also navigating the airport at the same time, she had an enormous amount of personal security and minders who whisked her through, there was no queuing or waiting for the movie star. So I was very interested to read this article from CEO magazine.
Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard has a new book on the lessons of Women and Leadership, in this article the author Susan Armstrong interviews Gillard.
The book (which is co-authored by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a development economist and former Finance Minister of Nigeria) interviews some exceptional women leaders including Jacinda Ardern, Hillary Clinton, Christine Lagarde and Theresa May.
“A revelation in doing the book, for me, and interviewing these eight women leaders from such different cultures and contents around the world, was just how global sexism is” Gillard says.
Common barriers faced by the women leaders interviewed included that when voters considered them as women leaders they need to steer “a narrow path between being seen as strong enough to lead, but not come across as so tough that people thought them unlikeable. There was this narrow, narrow path between empathetic but also showing that you had the backbone to do the job.”
The other common areas were the ‘endless focus on appearance’ and finally a focus on ‘family structures’.
“I’m incredibly conflict-adverse – I’d prefer to get on with people and work collaboratively so maybe that surprises people.”Julia Gillard
After her time in politics Julia Gillard has gone on to found the Global Institute for Women Leadership in London, to Chair Beyond Blue (replacing Jeff Kennett), and on board of CVS Lane (property finance), Ampolo Venture Capital and Andela (a US based startup). She is also on the advisory board of LeapFrog Investments who work to bring products and services to women in the poorest parts of the world.
Read the full article here:
or buy the book on Amazon here: