Frank About Women as Prez

The May 15 Takes column highlighted data from a Harris Poll survey in which consumers were asked what disasters they thought were likely to happen in the next 10 years. Among the potential disasters that respondents could mark as highly likely or likely to happen were: A major new war involving many U.S. soldiers; a major terrorist attack like Sept. 11 in the U.S.; and a woman becoming U.S. president.

What???? I know the U.S. is seriously lagging the rest of the world in terms of female representation in government—in fact, we rank 67th overall—but positioning the concept of a woman president as a disaster seems particularly backward. After all, even this year, countries that we would consider to be less developed than our own, such as Liberia and Chile, have freely elected women to lead their countries.

I recently gave a speech at a conference regarding women’s leadership styles and what they can tell us about how to market to the female consumer. As part of this presentation, Frank About Women fielded a proprietary survey on women in leadership. We discovered 79 percent of men and women were open to the idea of a female president, and they placed more importance on candidates’ stances on issues than their gender.

I would be happy to educate Adweek’s readers on why this country might actually reap significant benefits if it took the step of putting a woman in the White House.

Janie Curtis Managing director

Frank About Women

Winston-Salem, N.C.