Feb 9, 2022 - Politics & Policy
Women are running for office, but not nearly as much as men
Despite a rise in female candidates winning elections and filling congressional seats, a recent survey found female professionals are still less likely to consider running for elected office than their male counterparts.
By the numbers: Among men with work backgrounds common for political candidates, 60% said they've considered running for office. The same was true for only 40% of women, according to new survey findings published by the Brookings Institution.
- Three times over the past 20 years, researchers have surveyed around 4,000 lawyers, businesspeople, educators and political activists.
- They've asked them about their interest in running for elected positions as part of the Citizen Political Ambition Study.
- In 2001, 2011 and 2021, 16% to 18% more male than female respondents said they'd considered running for office.
- The gap persisted despite the rise of powerful female politicians during that time, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Between the lines: The survey discovered differences between how men and women perceived their qualifications, despite working in the same fields, Brookings points out.
- More than a third of the men surveyed said they felt “very qualified” to run for office, compared to only one in five of the women.
- On the other hand, the women were three times as likely to rate themselves “not at all qualified."