Apr 3, 2024 - News

Few Hoosier women in local office

Women as a share of municipal officeholders
Data: Rutgers; Map: Axios Visuals

Lawrence Mayor Deb Whitfield is something of a rarity in Indiana, where fewer than 30% of municipal officeholders are women.

Why it matters: Hoosier women are largely underrepresented in local government offices that are tasked with shaping critical policies and responding to residents' needs.

Driving the news: A new report from the Center for Women and Politics at Rutgers University analyzed cities and towns with populations of over 10,000 residents, including 96 communities in Indiana.

By the numbers: Indiana ranks 37th in the nation for its share of women serving in municipal offices, per the report.

  • Nationally, about 32% of municipal officeholders are women, compared to Indiana's 29%.
  • Colorado ranked first in the nation, with 46% of women holding municipal office, while Nebraska ranked last (19%).

Our ranking is even worse at the state level, where just 27% of members of the state legislature are women.

Yes, but: While Indiana still lags in female leadership, gains were made from last year, when fewer than a quarter of municipal offices were held by women.

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