Christine Lagarde: One of France’s Most Powerful Leaders

April 1 - Sarah Ashlock

FIRST THOUGHT: People Pleasing

Do you say yes to something when you know you want to decline? Do you tend to lessen an uncomfortable situation by appeasing others? Does it drive you crazy if someone dislikes you? Do you take on someone else’s emotions as your own? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be a people pleaser. Only recently did I realize I fit that category, and honestly, I think a lot of women fall into this trap, too. Ending your people-pleasing habits is an arduous process, but start it off by saying no when you want to say no. It’s that simple, but it’s so, so hard for people pleasers. Say it with me: n-o-o-o-o-o-o-o.


I’m often the person who wants everyone to just get along, so I’ll let a friend never pay me back, a colleague forget to put my name on a project, a stranger’s dog lick my legs for a disturbingly long amount of time. So, while I’m working on standing up for myself, I have no qualms about clapping back when others are wronged. Almost 90 percent of the world still has gender-based legal restrictions on property ownership and prohibition of signing contracts. Oh, hell no.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Christine Lagarde, First Female Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Christine Lagarde’s parents were both professors: Her father taught English literature and her mother taught French, Latin and ancient Greek. Born in Paris, Christine pursued higher education, too: first law and then political science. Now, she’s the 11th managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the first woman to hold the position.

The International Monetary Fund is kind of a last resort for countries. The organization was created in 1945 and now consists of 189 countries. The goal is to keep the global marketplace secure so that there’s economic security in even developing countries.

Christine’s responsibilities as the managing director are immense. She’s head of the staff and is the chairman of the executive board made up of representatives from each country. It’s been eight years since Christine started her post, and she’s since been reelected. There are a lot of challenges ahead for Christine, like the huge bailout of Greece. The IMF has been both revered and criticized for its $1.8 billion conditional loan for the country.

Christine isn’t immune to criticisms, either, and like all of us, she has her flaws. In fact, during her tenure at IMF, she was found guilty of negligence regarding a financial payout, but the IMF stuck by her. Admittedly, the public prosecutor was surprised by the verdict, considering his “weak” evidence. (Thanks, I guess?)

There’s much to be done as an influencer in the global economy. Forbes listed Christine as #3 in its 2018 List of the World’s Most Powerful Women, right behind Angela Merkel and Theresa May.

A woman at the helm has the potential for radical worldwide change. A decade after the 2008 financial crisis, Christine boldly cited one cause: groupthink and called for gender reform in the sector. The idea that a male-dominated industry should stay male-dominated is so 2008.


Christine Lagarde said:

"For women to get to the top you need skin as thick as a crocodile."

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