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MediaCom’s Karen Blackett: ‘A Trump victory will have a negative effect on women in the UK’

MediaCom UK’s chairperson Karen Blackett has spoken out against US presidential candidate Donald Trump, highlighting that a victory for the Republican party in today’s (8 November) election could undo progress against misogyny in the UK, as well as America.

Blackett told The Drum she is “really quite worried” at the prospect of Trump entering the White House. “Throughout this entire election campaign his character has been revealed, [particularly] his derogatory comments about women.”

She explained a Trump victory could have an impact of women in the UK due to the close links

“I genuinely do think [a Trump victory] could have an impact on women in the UK because [the US] is such an influential country. We are so closely tied to that country in terms of how we trade and our links.

“I think having somebody that leads the country with those sorts of derogatory attitudes will impact us because in the same way that having a female leader could be good, having a leader that demonstrates sexist, derogatory comments could also lead to more companies and industries following suit.

“I sincerely hope not and I sincerely hope that we have got fantastic business leaders, but I really do hope that Hillary gets in.”

Blackett added that while a win for Clinton could bring “more issues that affect the whole of society to the forefront” and encourage businesses to promote or hire more female leaders, she is “slightly fearful that she will be judged on being a woman, rather than judged on being a good leader”.

“I do think that that happens in business all the time: rather than judging women leaders on being leaders, it's about being a woman first then their leadership qualities afterwards.”

Blackett was speaking on a panel dubbed ‘The World, as run by Women’, hosted by women’s lifestyle publication The Pool. The media boss was joined on stage by tech entrepreneur Martha Lane Fox and journalists Lauren Laverne, Tazeen Ahmad and Emma Barnett, who discussed the possibility of two women simultaneously running the US and UK.

Fox echoed Blackett’s opinion on Clinton, stating: “If she is to succeed, Hillary will have a really tough time. A woman has to be twice as good as a man, to be thought of as half as good.”

Fox also took the opportunity to highlight that while the percentage of women in UK Parliament currently stands at the relatively low rate of 27%, it’s a higher number than the proportion in the “much younger” world of technology, where women only take 17% of roles.

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