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UK Insights

58% of UK would feel ‘very comfortable’ having a woman as head of government

Kirsty Cooke

Head of Digital Content, UK

Politics 07.03.2019 / 12:00

women leaders uk

According to the Reykjavik Index for Leadership, the UK holds the most progressive views on leadership in the G7.

The Reykjavik Index for Leadership, produced by Kantar and Women Political Leaders (WPL) measures the extent to which men and women are viewed equally in terms of suitability for positions of leadership across 20 sectors of the economy in the G7 nations (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the USA).

The extent to which society is comfortable with women in leadership as compared to men in leadership varies, and the Index runs from 0 to 100 – a score of 100 means that across society, there is complete agreement that women and men are equally suited to leadership in all sectors.

The UK scores 72 on the Reykjavik Index, higher than every other G7 nation. The average score for the G7 is 66.

Across the G7, the Reykjavik Index for Leadership score is higher for women (67) than it is for men (61). In other words, women in the G7 are more likely than men to view men and women as equally suitable for leadership roles. This is the case both for the overall G7 and also within every individual G7 country, and in each of the 20 sectors researched. The views of men and women are most closely aligned in the UK.

In the UK, we can see that men and women share relatively progressive views about who is suitable to lead – on average across the 20 sectors, 78% of women in the UK think men and women are equally suited to leadership, compared to 75% of men. However, there is still a long way to go.

As part of the wider Reykjavik Index for Leadership study of men and women in the G7, people were asked about how comfortable they would feel with a woman as Head of Government, and as a CEO of a major company in their country. Our study showed that only 6 in 10 people (58%) in the UK feel ‘very comfortable’ with a woman as head of government – 52% of men, and 65% of women. 59% feel ‘very comfortable’ with a woman as the CEO of a major company in the UK – 54% of men, 65% of women.  

Read the full press release and download the full report here.

Source : Kantar, Kantar Public, Lightspeed

Editor's Notes

The Reykjavik Index for Leadership is taken from a wider study across the G7 on men, women and leadership. The Data source for questions about comfortability with a woman CEO or Head of Government is this Kantar Public study of working-age adults (aged 18-64) in each of the G7 countries, carried out in September/October 2018. 

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