Jacinda Ardern | Supriya Vani

Summary of: Jacinda Ardern: Leading with Empathy
By: Supriya Vani


Dive into the captivating journey of Jacinda Ardern, a compassionate and empathetic leader who has made an indelible mark on the New Zealand political landscape. In this summary of Supriya Vani’s book ‘Jacinda Ardern: Leading with Empathy’, readers will learn about the life, career, and leadership of a woman who has broken barriers and inspired change on a global level. Discover how her challenging early life experiences informed her approach to politics, inspiring her commitment to social justice, environmental protection, and resilient crisis management. Witness her rise through the political ranks as she defies convention, all while remaining grounded in her firm belief in the power of compassion and empathy as guiding principles.

Ardern’s Humanitarian Governance

Supriya Vani and Carl A. Harte delve into the empathetic leadership of Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand. The authors highlight how Ardern’s compassionate approach to governance has enabled her to implement effective policies for social justice and climate change, as well as leading her country through a global health crisis. By illustrating her grace, humility and astuteness, the authors emphasize that Ardern is an exemplary leader who proves that politicians can be effective while maintaining their humanity.

Jacinda Ardern’s Rise to Power

Jacinda Ardern’s early experience with economic hardship and her empathetic approach to politics influenced her rise to become New Zealand’s Prime Minister. From a young age, Ardern envisioned a different way of conducting politics, one that focused on the issues rather than personal attacks. Despite the challenges faced by female politicians in New Zealand, Ardern climbed the political ladder and was eventually elected as the country’s leader. Her story serves as an inspiring example of perseverance, resilience, and commitment to public service.

The Rise of Ardern

Jacinda Ardern, the current Prime Minister of New Zealand, was supported by former Prime Minister Helen Clark, who also believed in gender equality. Despite facing competition from other women in politics, Ardern persevered and used her loss in a general election as motivation for her future career. Both Clark and Ardern refused to use their gender for political leverage and were dedicated to breaking down gender barriers.


Jacinda Ardern, previously not interested in leading the Labour Party, was nominated by Andrew Little to replace him as party leader. Despite just a few weeks to campaign, Ardern’s slogan “Let’s Do This” inspired women to volunteer and her campaign focused on income equality and mental health. Dubbed “Jacindamania,” she became New Zealand’s prime minister after forming a coalition with Winston Peters of New Zealand First. During her first week as leader, Ardern rescinded a ministerial appointment following a welfare fraud confession, and this helped build her tough leadership image.

Jacinda Ardern’s Empowering Journey

New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, made history as the world’s youngest female head of state. Shortly after, she found out she was pregnant, making her the second leader in history to give birth while in office. Despite this, Ardern remained determined and successfully reached out to the indigenous Māori community, promoting their culture on a global platform during her first trip abroad. She was even recognized as one of the world’s most influential people by Time magazine. Ardern believes that with the help of New Zealand, she can balance being a mother and leading the country simultaneously.

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