Author Archive

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith is a doctoral research student at Birkbeck studying the role of gender in political leadership. Her research examines media and voter perceptions of political leaders in the British context. She is the author of the article "Politics and Parenthood: An Examination of UK Party Leadership Elections" published in Parliamentary Affairs.

Reshuffles are a chance to revive the fortunes of a Prime Minister by changing the faces of their Cabinet and Government. January’s offered much but delivered less; the occupants of key Cabinet positions remained in place after all. May’s big beasts stood their ground, seemingly immovable; Justine Greening was the most prominent and the only woman to exit the Cabinet. The optics of Theresa May’s reshuffle became, at this point, about increasing diversity. But this neither told the real diversity story of the reshuffle, nor made an adequate case for diversity in the executive. Increasing diversity in their Cabinets appears to be of increasing importance to leaders and has been shown to have beneficial impacts on both policy outcomes and …