Mar 28, 2024 - News

Utah women underrepresented in municipal offices

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

About 34% of municipal office holders in Utah are women, according to a new report from the Center for Women and Politics at Rutgers University.

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

By the numbers: The Beehive State ranks 17th in the nation for its share of women serving in municipal offices, per the report. Nationally, about 32% of municipal officer holders are women.

  • Colorado ranked first in the nation, with 46% of women holding municipal office, while Nebraska ranked dead last (19%).

How it works: The center analyzed 55 Utah cities and towns with populations of over 10,000 residents.

What they're saying: "When girls don't see women in roles of leadership positions in business and government … they're less likely to see themselves as leaders in any of those types of organizations," Kolene Anderson, associate director of the Utah Women & Leadership Project at Utah State University, told Axios Salt Lake City.

  • Female candidates are more likely to be scrutinized over their appearance, clothing and demeanor than men, Anderson noted, which could detract some from seeking office.

Zoom out: Nearly 27% of state lawmakers are women, the report found.

The big picture: Utah has long lagged behind the rest of the nation when it comes to women holding elected office across the state, per the Utah Women & Leadership Project at Utah State University.

Go deeper: Utah's wide gender gap shows in politics, wages

avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Salt Lake City.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Salt Lake City stories

No stories could be found

Salt Lake Citypostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Salt Lake City.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more