First and foremost, Margaret Thatcher was a woman. I understand that this is stating the blindingly obvious, however, very few articles written about the first female leader of our country regard her gender as being the key principle to her success as Prime Minister.
In fact you hear more about her nature as a woman being unpalatable especially to other women in that she was so “heartless” in her wreaking devastation in communities. This is in direct conflict with one of the many attributes of women that make us different from men – generally women have more empathy than men, they are focused on bringing together, nurturing and looking after groups of people. Men are the analysts (they take things apart) and women are the synthesizers (they put things together) as Marti Barletta surmised in her book Marketing to Women.
The fact remains that the disempowering of the unions was an act – like it or hate it that was a key part of her passionate belief that this was necessary for the rebuilding of Britain. This was down to her intuition (generally emphasized in women as a result of the way their brains work), her focus on the greater good of British citizens (female focus on the family). Despite the pressure from the media, unions and members of her government (absence of ego) she ploughed on regardless with a firm eye on the bigger picture (women think holistically) and the need for the country to change. Her innate ability to build rapport, use her femininity and passion for our country and the world was fundamental in her building with significant international leaders and being instrumental in the breakdown of Eastern Europe.
It is never easy to get from a bad place to a good place and women know this perhaps a little more than men as they are generally more emotional and therefore feel it more than men. There is little dispute over the fact that Britain was in a terrible state in the 70’s economically and emotionally. Someone had to do something and she did but there was a cost!
Leadership is hard especially when the going gets tough. What is needed is decisive action, a belief that we are heading in the right direction and a relentless determination and resilience to get there. Perhaps more than ever what we need in this country is a woman who is prepared to use her natural ability as a female to lead our country to economic stability and national pride.