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5 times Jacinda Ardern exhibited great leadership skills

We’re sorry to see her go but she gotta do what she gotta do!

“I’m leaving because with such a privileged role comes responsibility—the responsibility to know when you are the right person to lead and also when you are not. I know what this job takes. And I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do justice. It’s that simple…I am human, politicians are human. We give all that we can for as long as we can. And then it’s time. And for me, it’s time,” Jacinda Ardern said as she announced her resignation from office, to the world yesterday. Ardern is one of the youngest Prime Minister’s to take office, and only the second woman to give birth while being in the position. The world has criticised some of her actions, questioned what she has said, but mostly, absolutely loved what she stands for. Whether it’s her kindness or empathetic and compassionate approach that she brings to her work and leadership style, there’s dozens of reasons why Jacinda Ardern has been a true leader of her times, and here are our top five. 

Kindness and compassion galore 

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An episode from the documentary Live to Lead, features the work of Jacinda Ardern when she joined office and focuses primarily on her leadership style. Ardern has been a firm believer in simply being kind, and compassionate towards people, because sometimes that’s really you need. After the Christchurch Mosque massacre, Ardern went to meet the families of the victims and she embraced them in reassurance. “One of the criticisms I’ve faced is that I’m not aggressive enough or assertive enough or because I’m empathetic, it means I’m weak. I refuse to believe that you cannot be both empathetic and strong,” she once said. 

She aced her dual role of being a new mama while in office 

Jacinda Ardern

In what was a truly incredible move, in 2018, Ardern attended the United Nations General Assembly along with her baby, just a few months after she was born. She strove to create a balance between her newfound motherhood and Prime Ministership, and was more often than not, candid about her roles and responsibilities of both. In June last year, she took to Instagram to share a picture of a lady-bug birthday cake: “This year was my turn on the birthday cake (or what I’ve come to know as the ‘stress bomb’) Neve requested a Ladybug, and after several disasters underneath A LOT of icing, this was the result. All edible aside from the eyes (I resorted to sharpie on lollipops 😳) Happy Birthday Neve Te Aroha!” she wrote. 

She was the first Prime Minister to march in the Pride Parade 

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Ever since she joined office in 2017, Ardern has introduced several policies including banning conversion therapy and increased funding for mental health services for the queer community in New Zealand. She was also the first Prime Minister to march in the Pride Parade in 2018. "Let’s all recommit to keep doing the work that’s required and make sure that we show that international solidarity so that everyone can celebrate who they are, no matter where in the world they live,” she said. We love that she’s a people person with all her heart and wouldn’t have it any other way despite the backlash she received for it. 

She launched New Zealand’s first ever wellbeing budget 

Jacinda Ardern

Ardern’s recent announcement to resign was met with mixed reactions, but one of them caught our attention. British actor, Jameela Jamil took to Instagram to write: Women can have it all. She had it all, did it all, smashed it all, and now has even more because she has the agency to decide when she is done on her time.” One of the primary reasons of Ardern’s resignation has been burnout, this, is her taking the time that she needs. And here’s the thing, she’s advocated physical and mental well-being. Jacinda Ardern was the first to launch New Zealand’s well-being budget. “Budget shows you can be both economically responsible and kind. We are turning the corner on issues others have written off as too hard for too long – while keeping the books in order.”

She put free period products in schools and worked towards eradication the gender pay gap 
 

Jacinda Ardern

With all the sensibilities at hand, Jacinda Ardern was also the leader every young girl needs. Her fight for gender equality was not only limited to the passing of the Equal Pay Amendment bill, to eradicate the gender pay gap but seeped right down to the grassroots level, with introducing free period products for girls at school and to encourage equity in access to education for all women.