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Cool. Competent. Grown up. Serious and intellectually rigorous. That’s the way Britain’s new prime minister, Theresa May, comes across to her constituents, according to Quartz, a “digitally native news outlet for business people.” Only one other woman—Margaret Thatcher, “the iron lady”—has held Britain’s top office. May is stepping into the role after the resignation of David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party, after his rash call for a referendum on Brexit (Britain’s leaving the European Union) had dire unintended consequences. She had held the post of home secretary, dealing with security and terrorism, since 2010, the longest run of any home secretary in half a century.

The Guardian notes that as home secretary she was so tenacious and hard-working that “one staffer who worked for her in opposition said, ‘it put me off being an MP: I took one look and thought, ‘Not if this is what it takes.’” May’s bolder moments as home secretary, The Guardian continues, ”spring from a distrust of powerful establishments closing ranks – especially against women – and a strong sense of propriety and fairness. As a longstanding ally put it, she ‘dislikes nothing more than blokey, slightly drink-sodden, misogynistic, old‑fashioned organisations.’”

Unlike Thatcher, who filled her cabinet with men, “she has made a point of helping women coming up through the party, founding Women2Win, a group to support and mentor women, in 2005,  Quartz notes. “Her ascension to the top job in the UK will mean two of Europe’s five biggest economies (the U.K. and Germany) will be run by women.”

Read More. Quartz  and The Guardian 

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