During a recent interview, T.I took a detour through the Dark Ages and said he wouldn’t vote for a female presidential candidate because “women make rash decisions emotionally” and might “just set off a nuke.”
While T.I. insisted he wasn’t sexist, he said the rest of the world “ain’t ready yet” for a female POTUS because “[Other leaders] will not be able to negotiate the right kinds of foreign policy.”
I’m not sure what century Clifford is living in, because while he thinks world leaders aren’t ready to do business with female leaders, it’s already happening. At the moment, there are 22 women running countries around the globe, and many more executives, businesswomen, and politicians.
After he was called out on social media, T.I. apologized for his remarks, but sadly he isn’t the only one who holds such antiquated views about women. The myth that women are “too emotional” to lead continues to permeate our culture, but we continue to rise about the stereotypes.
From German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller, women are negotiating trade deals, running governments, and impacting millions of lives every day.
But in case T.I. needs a few names to study up on, here are 7 powerful Black women who are badass leaders in business and politics.
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was Africa’s first female head of state and is the current president of Liberia. In 2011, Johnson-Sirleaf won the Nobel Peace Prize for her “non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work,” and she’s made it her top priority to erase Liberia’s debt.
Ursula Burns is the chairman and chief executive officer of Xerox Corporation. Burns is the first Black women to helm a Fortune 500 company, and has been instrumental in transforming Xerozx “from a global leader in document technology to the world’s most diversified business services company serving enterprises and governments of all sizes.” Burns also sits on the board directors of the American Express Corporation, Exxon Mobil Corporation, and the Ford Foundation.
Ertharin Cousin is the Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme, the largest humanitarian organization in the world. Cousin is in charge of approximately 13,500 staff members who serve more than 90 million beneficiaries in 80 countries across the globe. During her career, Cousin has worked for both the Obama and Clinton administrations and is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Georgia School of Law.
Appointed in March, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila is the fourth and current Prime Minister of Namibia. Formerly, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila served as her country’s Finance Minister, was a Member of Board of Governors at the African Development Bank, and was a Governor of International Monetary Fund.
As the President & CEO of Siebert Brandford Shank & Co., L.L.C., Suzanne Shank is one of the most powerful women on Wall Street. Under her leadership, the company has managed more than $1 trillion in transactions for state and local governments, and is the top-ranked minority-and-women-owned municipal bond underwriting firm in the country.
Former Deputy President of South Africa, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and the Executive Director of UN Women. Mlambo-Ngcuka spent her career working for human rights, women’s rights, equality and social justice. A graduate of Lincoln University, Mlambo-Ngcuka also founded the Umlambo Foundation, an organization that supports leadership and education.
Rosalind Brewer is president and CEO of Sam’s Club, a company with $58 billion in revenues, over 100,000 employees, and 650 locations. A graduate of Spelman College, Brewer is one of the few Black women running a major corporation. In addition to leading Sam’s Club, Brewer sits on the board of directors for the Lockheed Martin Corporation and is the chair of the board of trustees for her alma mater, Spelman College.