Professor Susan Murphy believes the record number of women elected in the 2018 US mid-term elections could signal an epochal moment for women in leadership roles.

The record number of women elected to the US House of Representatives and Senate could help break the gender attainment gap.

A number of issues leading up to this election provided women with the impetus to run, to be supported financially, and to be seen as viable candidates by the electorate. This emerging breed of female politicians reflects a new style of working in politics and a focus on a broad range of issues that affect women and families directly.

In the past, female legislators worked effectively together in a bipartisan way when faced with threatened shutdowns of the U.S. government. They were at the table providing collaborative solutions, while men tended to avoid compromise.

Having more women in positions of high political office provides young and aspiring females with role models that can cause ripple effects, leading to women’s eventual full participation in many areas of society.

Professor Susan Murphy is Chair in Leadership Development at University of Edinburgh Business School.