Currently, women hold fewer than 20% of all Congressional offices and fewer than 25% of all state legislative seats. Given the pace of recent gains, it will still take decades before women approach 50% of our political leadership in the United States. This is troubling as research clearly demonstrates that female politicians are different - in the bills they sponsor, in the issues they champion, and in the way they interact with their constituents. So why are there so few women in elected office?
This ARNIE talk explores both why it is important to have women in elected office and why so few women seek to do so. Ultimately, the research suggests that while there are many explanations for the under-representation of women in office, the most important is the fact that women are less likely to consider running for office. This talk also explores ways that are effective in helping women overcome this reluctance, one of which is to ask women to run for office. Thus, this talk serves a dual purpose: both informing the audience about important research AND motivating them to change current conditions.