Women make up more than half of the U.S. population, yet the majority of elected and appointed positions in government are held by men.
Political insiders control who gets recruited to run for office, partisanship and winner-take-all voting often determines who wins, and antiquated legislative rules impact who can serve and lead.
The problem isn't just convincing more women candidates to run for office. The problem is there are structural and institutional barriers that limit women's odds of success at every stage of the electoral process.
To advance women's representation and leadership in the United States, we need to complement existing candidate-centric practices with innovative systems strategies.
Electing more women to government will strengthen our democracy by making it more representative, reviving bipartisanship and collaboration, improving policy outcomes, encouraging a new style of leadership, and cultivating trust in our elected bodies.
Recruitment targets for political parties so more women run.
Ranked choice voting for executive & legislative offices so more women win.
Modern rules like onsite childcare so more women can serve effectively.
Rankin Chisolm Rule for political appointments & hiring so more women lead.
Join the work for systems strategies that address the structural barriers women face & enable sustained progress toward gender balance in representation and leadership in the United States.
There were a lot of terrific articles this week discussing women's representation and leadership including this piece on Forbes by Marianne Schnall that features interviews with a number of prominent women discussing women's leadership: A few weeks ago an evocative meme was making the social media rounds: a picture of the leaders of Germany, New Zealand, Belgium, Finland, Iceland and Denmark with the caption “COVID-19 is everywhere but countries with heads of state managing the crisis better seem to have something in common…” Of course the answer was that they were all women. The narrative is that from Angela Merkel of Germany to Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand to Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan (as well as the leaders of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Norway), it does appear that countries who have female leaders at the helm are proving to be faring better during the pandemic thanks to their effective handling of the response to the COVID-19 crisis.Read More
There were a number of great pieces tied to the celebration of Mother's Day which pointed to the contradiction between the Hallmark version of the holiday and the lived experiences of many, if not all, women. I especially loved a piece in The New York Times by Kim Brooks titled "Forget Pancakes. Pay Mothers" which challenges readers to think about the work of raising children and running households in the United States:Read More
As perhaps some of you heard, a federal judge ruled against equal pay for the championship U.S. women's soccer team this week according to this story by Liz Clarke in The Washington Post: Chants of “Equal pay! Equal pay!” erupted among a crowd of nearly 60,000 in Lyon, France, in July when the U.S. women clinched their fourth World Cup championship with a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands. Nearly 10 months later, federal judge R. Gary Klausner, ruling in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Pasadena on Friday, was unpersuaded by the women’s legal case for that demand. Klausner rejected the U.S. women’s soccer team’s argument that it has been underpaid relative to the U.S. men in the gender-discrimination suit filed in March 2019.Read More