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12 Women Leaders That Changed the World in 2020

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12 Women Leaders That Changed the World in 2020

Whether guiding a nation with a steady hand or rising up against injustice, these leaders offer a glimpse of how to make progress under difficult circumstances, from Jacinda Ardern to Kamala Harris.

British Vogue,

5 min read
4 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Defying all odds, 12 inspiring, empathetic and determined women helped save the world in 2020.

Editorial Rating



  • Eye Opening
  • Concrete Examples
  • Inspiring


A study by the Centre for Economic Policy Research found countries that women led during the 2020 pandemic fared significantly better than those men led. Journalist Sarada Peri lauds a dozen female leaders in British Vogue, including heads of state, and explains how women in leadership made the world better in 2020. From high-profile politicians like Kamala Harris and Jacinda Ardern to courageous activists like Nemonte Nenquimo and Bilkis Dadi, the author recognizes these leaders’ incredible work during a difficult year.


In 2020, women improved the world by embracing diversity, giving minorities a voice and taking on vital political roles.

Women worldwide made a significant contribution to their nations and communities during the COVID year of 2020. Here are some notable standouts:

New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern selected the country’s most diverse cabinet to date in 2020. She instated eight women, five Māori, three Pasifika and three members of the LGBTQ+ community, championing a new model of leadership that values wide-ranging experience, skills and perspectives.

Kamala Harris has a lot of experience representing and inspiring minorities. When Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election, she became the first female, first Black and the first Indian-American US vice president. Likewise, earlier in her career, she was the first female district attorney of San Francisco and the first Indian-American elected to the US Senate.

Former Georgia state house minority leader Stacey...

About the Author

Sarada Peri, a senior speechwriter for Barack Obama during his presidency, founded Peri Communications.

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