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Updates from RepresentWomen

Weekend Reading on Women's Representation November 4, 2016

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on November 04, 2016

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Wow.

Only a few days to go in an election that has torn the scabs off the wound that is our electoral system. Regardless of the results up and down the ballot on Tuesday the Pandora's Box of electoral dysfunction is now wide open and the moment is ours to fix systems - be they cultural, political, professional, or electoral - that disadvantage women candidates.

The complexity of the problem must inform our collective work - there is no one reason that the United States ranks behind 95 nations in the representation of women. Nor is there one solution.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation October 28, 2016

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on October 28, 2016

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Dear friends,

I'll start with a brief election update though many of you who are on the ground in states may have a better sense of how state and federal races are unfolding.

The race for president has been anything but predictable but Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight election forecast projects that Hillary Clinton has an 81.2% chance of winning. Regardless of your political perspective I think we can agree that it will be a relief when this campaign comes to an end.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation October 21, 2016

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on October 21, 2016

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Finally, a reason to post a photo from the Trevi Fountain in Rome which graces this story from the London School of Economics and Political Science on how gender quotas are being used with success to diversify corporate boards in Italy:

Overall our results support the idea that not only gender quotas contribute to women’s empowerment, they may also encourage a better selection mechanism through the entry of qualified women. In countries such as Italy, dominated by a male gerontocracy, where boards of directors were not necessarily populated by the most competent and most qualified people for the job (Bianco et al., 2015), the introduction of gender quotas induces a beneficial restructuring of the boards, which is positively received by the market.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation October 14, 2016

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on October 14, 2016

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Dear all,

Some food for thought to distract us from the madness of this election season...

The Christian Science Monitor had a very interesting piece entitled How Women Lead Differently - a subject that I suspect will be getting more attention in the coming months. The topic always gives me pause, while it may be that women and men do have different leadership strengths I resist the trend toward thinking that it's (finally) time to elect women because they have special problem solving skills. Lots more could be said on this - particularly in the context of this election season.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation October 7, 2016

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on October 07, 2016

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Photo from a piece by Ashley Parker from Glamour that reviews some of the women who are shaping the 2016 election.

Dear friends,

Sophia Tesfaye had a piece in Salon on the challenges republican women face running for and getting elected to Congress:

For more than a decade, the number of Republican women in Congress has remained roughly stagnant. The share of Democratic women — now nearly 33 percent — has continued to climb, while the Republican female share has leveled off since hitting 10 percent during the mid-2000s. Currently there are just 22 women in the Republican caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives. Democrats have 62 women in the House.


Christianna Silva had a piece on FiveThirtyEight this week entitled "Don't Hold Your Breath For Gender Parity in Congress - It Could Take Another 100 Years." The rate of change in women's representation in Congress is misleading because the most progress has been made in the states that ranked the lowest.

Stories like these confirm the need for new strategies to elect women across the political and geographic spectrum if we are to win parity in our lifetimes!

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation September 30, 2016

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on September 30, 2016

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Dear all,

Elle did a great piece last week about women leaders around the world and the role that they have played shaping the debate on many different topics - there is no question that strong women leaders of all political persuasions are seeking and winning elected office - but we have a long way to go until the United States is a leader on parity.

Emerge America launched a terrific campaign this week #WhySheRuns to highlight the many women who are running for office - please consider helping to spread the word about their new video or make your own WhySheRuns video!

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation September 23, 2016

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on September 23, 2016

 

Dear allies for parity,

I am sure many of you may have helped with the launch of IGNITE's new video and #DeclareYourAmbition campaign to ensure that our daughters and our friends' daughters are motivated to participate in the political process at every level. While the launch this week was very successful I hope that you will help the fabulous team at IGNITE National by sharing the link to the video with the #DeclareYourAmbition hashtag.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation September 16, 2016

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on September 16, 2016

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Dear all,

One of the most widely-shared stories this week was this one from the Washington Post that reflects on the role of women staffers in the White House and how they have helped to 'amplify' the voices of their colleagues - changing norms through example...

The atmosphere has changed considerably in Obama’s second term. Many of the original players have moved on. Today, Obama’s closest aides — the ones who sit in the 7:30 a.m. meeting and earn the top White House salary of $176,461 a year — are equally divided between men and women. Overall, the average man still earns about 16 percent more than the average woman. But half of all White House departments — from the National Security Council to the Office of Legislative Affairs — are headed by women.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation September 9, 2016

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on September 09, 2016

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Dear all,

Jane Addams celebrated a birthday this week - born in 1860, Addams was a suffragist and founder of Hull House in Chicago. She became the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 and, in 1982, was the topic for my (successful) college application essay on who I'd like to have dinner with! She has always been an inspiration to me.

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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation September 1, 2016

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on September 02, 2016

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Hello everyone,
Sending this a day early as I am attending the American Political Science Association meeting in Philadelphia - I will try to track some of you down to learn more about the papers you are presenting and the work you are considering!

There was a terrific piece in the Washington Post today about women's representation worldwide. The authors, Melissa Etehad and Jeremy Lin, reiterate that the U.S. lags behind 95 countries - established and emerging democracies alike - in women's representation. The two main reasons they cite for the progress in other nations are gender quotas and electoral systems:

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