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Pages tagged "Topic:Gender balanced appointments"

Policy Solutions for Gender Balanced Representation

Electing more women to government will strengthen our democracy by making it more representative, improving policy outcomes, encouraging a new style of leadership, and cultivating trust in our elected bodies. 

To advance women's representation and leadership in the United States, we must adopt proven policy solutions that address the structural barriers women face as candidates & as elected officials. These institutional strategies are a natural complement to individual candidate training programs.


Download the Policy Solutions 2-pager

Gender balanced funding and recruitment targets so more women RUN

Establish or join a Women’s Caucus that oversees the following:

  • Developing targets for the recruitment of women candidates.
  • Evaluating the best practices to encourage more women to run.
  • Preparing an annual report on the status of women's representation in: party leadership, elected offices, and appointed positions.

Support legislation that allows candidates to use campaign funds to pay for childcare expenses.

Ranked choice voting so more women WIN

Upgrade the voting system to use ranked choice voting (also known as instant run-off voting) for both single and multi-winner elections. Maine and Alaska are the only US states who have used RCV in statewide elections - Alaska's first use being in 2022. Maine is ranked second in RepresentWomen’s 2022 Gender Parity Index.

Policy language examples:

Example: FairVote's Model Statute 

Example: Statewide Maine

Legislative rules changes so more women can SERVE

Modernize the governmental workplace so that all legislators can serve effectively once elected with the following rules changes:

  • On-site childcare
  • Paid leave for legislators
  • Telecommuting Proxy voting
  • Family-friendly schedules
  • Living wages for legislators

Policy language examples:

Example: Santa Fe Living Wage Ordinance 

Example: Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance, San Francisco 

Example of On-site Childcare in Practice 

Gender balanced appointment targets so more women LEAD

Recruitment for top staff and leadership positions must engage diverse slates of candidates to ensure gender balanced representation.

Adopt rules for gender balanced appointments. Commit to diverse appointments to cabinets, commissions and vacancies, establishing or maintaining gender balance as the norm.

Policy language examples:

Example: 2009 Iowa Gender Balanced Boards and Commissions 

Example: Illinois Gender Balanced Appointments Act 

Example: North Dakota Century Code

Gender Balanced Appointments Toolkit

We built this toolkit based on a survey of about 40 allies and partners in 2021. With this survey, we found that allies and advocates are most interested in: 

  • 2 or 1-pager summaries 
  • Data visualization graphics
  • Full-length research reports
  • Best practices for advancing gender balanced appointments 

The target audience for this Equip Toolkit are individuals and organizations who are interested in advancing gender balanced appointments. 

The aim is that this Equip Toolkit will equip you to speak more fluently and confidently to the importance of gender balanced appointments, and current rates of gender balance in appointed positions in the US. It will also equip you with evidence-based strategies for advancing and advocating for gender balanced appointments.

Download the Appointments Equip Toolkit 

Gender Makeup of Cabinets

infogram_0_c859a243-3516-4784-9885-62252b604aaa2022 Gender Cabinets Map

Women LEAD Video

Embodying the phrase “if you can see it, you can be it,” normalizing women in political leadership positions will normalize the idea of women as leaders, period. Over the past decade, progress toward women’s legislative equality has been slow but present. While the number of women running for office and winning continues to be dwarfed by the number of men, there is an upward trajectory nearing the 30 percent threshold associated with the critical mass theory. Despite the growing numbers of women legislators, this progress does not automatically translate into women's uptick in executive or staff leadership positions. It's time we change that with intentional systems reforms. It's time we de-bug our democracy and let women lead.

Women Lead Slidedeck

Teach others about the reforms!


Use our presentation on the suggested women lead reforms with your community and teach them about the importance of women's voices in leadership positions. 


infogram_0_7362ea1d-485a-4250-911e-7fe6e814df06Women LEAD Presentation