Scotland's Nicola Sturgeon Says World Would Be Better Off if Ruled by 'Menopausal Women'
01:00 GMT 26.01.2022 (Updated: 01:26 GMT 26.01.2022)
History surely knows quite a few female rulers. And as for Sturgeon, she was elected to the Scottish Parliament in 1999 and has served as the SNP's leader and first minister of Scotland since 2014, making her the first woman to occupy both roles.
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon believes the world would be a "better place" if it was run by women.
In an interview with author Sam Baker for the podcast "The Shift,"
dedicated to what life is like for women over the age of 40, Sturgeon said that women still have to work "twice as hard" as men to be taken "even half as seriously."
"You really have to work so much harder to prove yourself so much more, to be taken probably half as seriously - particularly in the profession I’m in - as your average man," Sturgeon told the host on Tuesday. "It can be tiresome and wearisome that we still have to do that but I’ve come to the conclusion in my life that it’s actually quite a good thing."
She explained that such circumstances mean that one eventually ends up "being better [than the men] because you work a lot harder and you have to really go so much further to prove yourself and be taken seriously."
"I have to be careful that doesn’t sound like an argument for women always having to struggle more to be taken seriously, because it shouldn’t be like that..." Sturgeon underscored.
However, the 51-year-old leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) doubled down on her belief that it is a good thing that women are required to be so hardworking since they are better and work harder than their male counterparts.
"But when you see women, and I’m not talking about myself here I’m talking about other women in senior positions: by and large, they’re better than their equivalent man and, more often than not, they’ve had to push themselves a lot harder to get to where they are," she said. "I often think the world would be a much better place if it were ruled by women."
Sturgeon also joked that the world would be a "much, much better place" if it was ruled by "menopausal women" who had to work even harder to overcome their hormonal fluctuations while working.
"I guess most women in positions like mine - and there’s not been that many - who have gone through the menopause, the response is they need to work much harder to overcome it to make sure you’re trying not to let it interfere in any way," the first minister explained. "[So] maybe the world would be a much, much better place if it was ruled by menopausal women."
Nevertheless, Sturgeon confessed she was still uncertain about discussing the matter in public.
“We talk about the menopause much more, and I’m very conscious of being a woman with a profile and a platform, a fair degree of influence, so I feel a responsibility – given that I’m at that age – to talk about it myself," she said.
Also, when asked how she would handle a hot flash during a business meeting, Sturgeon said that she hopes she "would be open about it."
"If you look around the world, there’s not been that many women leaders … I guess Angela Merkel must have gone through when she was in office, Hillary Clinton … so if you’ve got that platform, then I would like to think I would use that positively, but I’m also a human being," she added.
Sturgeon said she still suffers from "imposter syndrome" as a result of her gender and working-class roots.
"I’m an innately shy person, so I suppose I’ve had to overcome that along the way. I have always had this inner-confidence, but coupled with an inner-doubt. There’s always a constant battle between the two, and that is probably true even now," she said. "I think for many women, no matter how successful or senior they’ve come to be, have that sense of not entirely ever feeling that you’ve earned it or that it’s justified."
But Sturgeon also indicated that a little self-doubt is healthy and would benefit the UK's embattled Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
"I think of people like Boris Johnson, and I think, ‘My God, a little bit of imposter syndrome would do you the world of good’," she explained. "Because actually it would make you take a step back and think, ‘Maybe I’ve just got to work a bit harder? Maybe I’ve got to prove myself a bit more,’ instead of this gliding through life as if the world owes you a living."