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Candidate She?

Gender Gaps in Political Leadership

Civic Youth

on 22 July 2013

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Transcript of Candidate She?

Gender Gaps in Political Leadership
Civic High Achievers, Few Leaders
Women are high
academic achievers
over men:
bachelor degrees (60% to 40%)
4-year degrees by age 25 (30% to 25%)

Women are more
civically engaged
than men:
volunteering (24% to 18%)
membership in community associations (31% to 28%)
voting (55% to 47%).

Young women are more
committed to service
than young men, higher percentage of women:
take service learning courses
contribute many volunteering hours
serve in AmeriCorps and Teach for America

Girls perform as well as, if not better than, boys on
civic knowledge
tests such as NAEP.
Where are the gaps?
How do we narrow the gender gap?
Start early
: by the time women are of college age, the gender gaps are very large, and there is no evidence that college education diminishes these gaps.

Create pathway
s between helping others and community service to political leadership. Mentoring and instrumental support are essential.

More research is needed to evaluate the impact of both gender-specific instructions and gender-specific programs on political leadership aspirations and skills.

Need to
continue to address the race and class gap
among women in both civic participation and political representation.
Candidate She?
Focus on CIRCLE’s research on obstacles and effective strategies for teaching civic engagement in general, and promoting increased civic engagement among girls and young women.
Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg and Nancy Thomas
from the CIRCLE Factsheet "Civic Engagement and Political Leadership among Women – a Call for Solutions"
Race & Class
Standardized tests in civics do not measure dispositions, motivation or skills for political leadership because they were designed to measure factual knowledge

Relying on civics tests alone will not help identify or address the gender gap in political ambition

Measuring relevant dispositions and skill early on would help us understand when the gender gaps begin to emerge, and how to address them
Young women show less interest in non-voting political engagement and political careers than men

The gender gap in discussion of political issues is expanding

Women do want change: more interested than men in changing social values and participating in a community action program
Women are expected to lead, but not as political leaders

Less encouraged to run for a political office (30% of women and 40% of men)

Parents, grandparents, teachers, religious leaders, coaches, and even friends all less likely to encourage women to run for office

Women are just as likely to be encouraged to run for student government positions as men

Only 6% of Americans believe that women are better suited for political leaders (21% think men are)
Disparities by race and class among women are large

Women of color are less likely than White women to:
be connected to the local officials
vote in local elections,
attend meetings
trust neighbors
see friends and family

Women from lower socioeconomic background are less civically engaged and feel less encouraged to discuss politics or express opinions than more affluent women.
Yet . . .
Women are
severely underrepresented
in political office

Stagnant growth
in female representation in elected offices for the past decade

Same pattern of
high achievement and under representation
in leadership positions in business , law, and higher education
May 9, 2013
Women less likely than men to claim that they are qualified to run for political offices

Women are less likely than men to claim personal characteristics of political leadership, such as competitiveness and leadership skills

But public opinion polls suggest that women in general are thought to have more qualities of leaders
Full transcript