Here’s How We Can Drastically Increase the Number of Women in Politics
At first glance, statistics paint a rosy picture about women in U.S. politics.
Kamala Harris is our country’s first female vice president. There’s a record number of women serving in governorships and in the U.S. House. And there’s been a steady rise of women serving in public office.
Still, politics is largely a man’s game.
Women still make up just over a quarter of the 118th Congress. And while women have proven time and time again that they can run and win, there’s an ambition gap that’s holding them back.
The good news is that more women than ever before are motivated to run for political office. According to a new study from the non-partisan, non-profit organization She Should Run, which aims to get more women to run for public office, nearly a quarter of the women, or 22.4 percent, are interested in seeking elected office.
The study surveyed over 400 women, with no political background, aged 18-75 across different geographic regions and party affiliations to develop an understanding of the data about women running for office and what motivates women to consider elected leadership.
“By reaching and motivating this untapped talent, the goal of reaching equal representation in government can be accomplished,” Erin Loos Cutraro, founder and CEO of She Should Run, said about the study.
The She Should Run study came out in late March and found that many women – across demographics and ideologies – are motivated by issues that affect them and their communities. That includes the economy, climate change, reproductive health, racism and gun violence. In addition, women are most likely to act on issues related to children, health, education and poverty.
Loos Cutraro’s organization, founded in 2011, has the lofty goal of inspiring 250,000 women to take their first steps toward public leadership by 2030. So far, She Should Run has reached over 40,000 women and encouraged them to run for public office, whether local, at the state level, or federal.
They do this by reaching out to women with no experience in politics and showing them that they can run for office through learning events, company partnerships and community building.
The latest research also shows that women benefit from an inner circle of close female friends, especially those seeking leadership roles. Once motivated to get involved in politics, women tend to then pull other women into the process with them.