A Former Prime Minister on Promoting Female Leaders

Kim Campbell

Way before there was talk of President Hillary or President Carly, there was Kim. As Canada’s first — and, so far, only — female prime minister, Kim Campbell saw her approval rating soar after coming to power in 1993 to the highest level for a leader here in 30 years. But within less than six months, Campbell’s Progressive Conservative Party suffered a crushing defeat, she failed to win her own home riding, and ultimately left office.

Today, after having also served as attorney general and a justice minister, and the first female defense minister of any NATO country, Campbell is the founding principal of the University of Alberta’s Peter Lougheed Leadership College and lectures about women in powerful posts. One of her latest and more controversial proposals includes a plan to fill Canada’s House of Commons with an equal number of women, up from the record 26 percent right now. And while she notes that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently named women to half of his Cabinet of ministers, Campbell adds, “That’s his choice and he has enough in his caucus to make that choice — but for the rest of Parliament, it’s very, very difficult.” Her edited conversation with OZY follows…

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– Neil Parmar
Published in OZY