All of the Birling’s (including Gerald Croft) hold a lot of power due to their wealth and social status. However, it appears that they do not use this power in a fair or just way. In fact, the Inspector allows the audience to see that they use their power to abuse and misuse a vulnerable working-class girl.
As the play develops, the power of the Birling’s becomes a point of conflict amongst them as Eric and Sheila become ashamed of their power and how it has been used inappropriately. Opposingly, Arthur, Sybil, and Gerald see no issue with their level of power and even celebrate the idea that the Inspector’s visit was a hoax as it means that their social status will remain untouched.