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their issues, aren’t. That’s why we see Brexit. That’s why we see Trump. That’s why we see a lot of what’s happened in the world. How this moderating of others’ behaviour manifests itself in polling booths, I find fascinating. This vilifying of the ‘other’; calling people we don’t agree with imbeciles. Freedom of speech is fundamental. We should really ask ourselves at times like this whether we should be placing so many restrictions on it.”

Battle of the sexes

Notwithstanding the outcome in France (centrist Emmanuel Macron was elected president as Dialogue went to press), her home nation of Canada has run against the global political tide with the election of liberal Justin Trudeau. As the daughter of immigrants, Papadopoulos says Canada has achieved it by focusing on unity as much as diversity. “I was born in Canada, but my parents knew more about Canada’s geography and history than I did,” she says. “They had to learn a lot about the country, they had to speak the language before they moved there. The Canadians valued our Cypriot-ness. But also they expected us to value our Canadian-ness, and I think that’s where they got it right. You felt listened to, and you reciprocated that. I think that’s lacking in Europe, and in America.” Yet her sterling defence of free speech doesn’t prevent her worrying about upsetting people. Despite advising millions on sexual politics and the minefield of romantic relations, she’s somewhat reluctant to highlight differences between male and female leadership styles: “It’s a contentious thing to say. Because of political correctness, people don’t want to say there are psychobiological differences between men and women – but there are.” She cites studies on the capacity for risk (higher among males), and suggests that the deployment of the sexes in leadership roles is mismatched to the requirement. “Had more women been at the helm of the banks, the evidence suggests the banking crisis wouldn’t have gone as far as it did,” she says. “I think there is something in it. There are clearly some differences – hormonally there are – and it’s interesting to look at how those affect behaviour.” Still, she adds the caveat that “gender doesn’t trump personality” – that great leaders appear equally in both sexes, that the ability to enthuse is key, regardless of how you get there. “I think leadership is the ability to inspire and to motivate,” she says, “and I think those traits are probably less prone to gender differences.” Certainly, the inspiring teacher of her youth changed the path of her life: journalism lost her, psychology gained. But it feels like the course of her career went the right way. Linda Papadopoulos is an explorer, destined to ask not ‘what?’ but ‘why?’ Q3 2017 Dialogue

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09/05/2017 12:53

Dialogue Q3 2017