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.
After graduating from college - 35 years ago this week - I took a job on a U.S. Senate campaign because I thought that getting good people elected to Congress was the cure for an unhealthy democracy. But after years of working for terrific candidates at all levels of government I realized that it wasn't a lack of good candidates that was causing dysfunction in Washington. Rather, it was then - and still is - the infrastructure of our electoral system that prioritizes handfuls of voters in swing states, protects incumbents, and solidifies the over-representation of White men in politics.Read More
Melinda French Gates created Pivotal Ventures in January 2015 with so little fanfare that news of the effort came out after GeekWire accidentally stumbled upon its website. At the time, a spokesperson for the Kirkland, Wash.-based company described it as “a vehicle, when the time comes, to help explore potential other initiatives that don’t fit naturally or neatly within the [Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s] program areas.”Read More