Women in Political Sector Encourage Involvement of More Women


Tuesday night’s town hall with women in politics had a clear message: More women need to become involved by supporting candidates and competing for electoral office.

Claire Bishop, Executive Director and COO of American Public Square at Jewell said, “We know women are underrepresented in public leadership roles in Missouri, Kansas, and across the country.”

The Kansas City town hall on women in politics was moderated with assistance from state representatives Jamie Johnson, Patty Lewis, and Laura Williams.

At Jewell, United WE and American Public Square contributed to discussions about getting more women into elected office.

According to Bishop, more than 120 people signed up for the event.

“In Missouri, we have never had a governor that is a woman,” said Wendy Doyle, President and CEO of United WE. “We have no women representing us in elected state-level positions.”

According to Doyle, there are 18–23% women in the House and Senate at any given time.

Bishop added, “They have to be encouraged to take that next step and put themselves out there for public office and many women are saying frankly, ‘What the state of public discourse being what it is, it’s a no-go from me.”

Participants in the town hall discussed some of the obstacles that prevent women from choosing to get involved.

According to United WE, a collaboration with the University of Kansas looked at what the main obstacles were.

They discovered that women are more successful at running when they had a mentor.

Ageism, self-selection, political attacks, and how representation is not always at the top of the list when considering volunteering also came up.

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