Nearly a Quarter of U.S. Women Want to Run for Political Office – and Your Encouragement Matters
This year, women make up 28% of the 118th Congress, the highest percentage in the history of the United States. That is three points higher than the percentage of women in the 117th Congress in 2021, which had previously held the record. Women in political leadership positions are on the rise—but we still have a long way to go to reach true equality.
She Should Run, a nonprofit working to increase the number of women running for political office, surveyed 419 women across the U.S. to understand what motivates women to run for office. They combined their results with data from the YWCA’s 2022 Midterm Election Study and the UN’s Women at the Frontline of Climate Change research. Here’s what they found:
- Women are not happy about the current state of affairs: 22.4% of women are motivated to seek office. The two main motivators for those women are either being passionate about a particular issue, or having a history of doing impactful work in the community.
- Encouragement matters, particularly for Black women: Most women who are considering running for office reported being encouraged to run at least once. Meanwhile, 31% of Black women who are considering running said they’ve been encouraged over 10 times. Only 9% of white women said the same.
- Asian-American and Hispanic women are less likely to run for office: Both groups reported more negative feelings toward politics than other demographic groups surveyed. This particularly applied for Asian-American women: 63% said they’ve never considered running for office, far more than any of the other groups.