In order for women to serve effectively once in elected office, gender balanced representation is not enough on its own. Workplace culture and norms must evolve past the 'old boys clubs' that continue to dominate many fields as our elected officials become more diverse in terms of gender, race, ideology and age.
Below are suggestions on how to dismantle the barriers which prevent women from serving safely and effectively.
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RepresentWomen calls on city, state, and national legislators to reform their internal practices and culture so that women legislators can serve and lead effectively. Erratic work schedules, low pay rates, geographic distance, and unfair leadership selection processes make serving a challenge for many women - especially those caring for children and managing households. Although these reforms would benefit men and women, these issues disproportionately affect women.
Read our 2021 case studies on women serve practices in Nevada and Maryland state legislatures.
To make the governmental workplace one in which more women office holders can thrive, legislative bodies should enact the following internal process reforms:
RepresentWomen is building relationships with state legislative women’s caucuses to:
Approximately 20 states have either partisan or bipartisan caucuses which promote legislation that will improve the status of women in their state. They also serve as important networking channels for female legislators and as vehicles for reform that make legislative bodies more women-friendly and representative.
States with women's caucuses on average have higher women's representation in their state legislature as well.