Meredith College has released a new report that examines The Status of Women in North Carolina Politics. The report covers the political offices held by women and offers solutions to improving women’s representation.
Among the findings are the following:
Women make up over 54% of registered voters in North Carolina but hold less than 25% of all appointed and elected offices.
In the 28 most competitive 2014 political races across North Carolina, women raised nearly 30% more funds than men.
In 44 North Carolina counties, no women serve as county commissioners.
Women hold less than 20% of elected positions with taxing and spending authority in North Carolina.
In 2014, 25% of the candidates in North Carolina elections were women – and 63% won their races. When women run, women win.
Men are 60% more likely than women to assess themselves as “very qualified” to run for political office.
Women who take just one political science course in college are 40% more likely to consider a career in the public sector.
“Women consider different issues than do men, so in order to have all policy issues considered equally, it is important to have more equal representation,” said Visiting Professor of Political Science David McLennan, the report’s author. “Having more women in office also inspires other women to enter public service.”
According to McLennan, research demonstrates that women have different leadership traits that encourage more deliberation and inclusiveness.
“Having more parity encourages deliberative bodies, like Congress or the General Assembly, to operate differently,” McLennan said.
The report is the second in a series of reports produced by Meredith College. The first report was The Status of Girls in North Carolina by Associate Professor of Sociology Amie Hess, which was released in 2013.
The release of the report on The Status of Women in North Carolina Politics is part of Meredith’s weeklong focus on women in public service. The College also released the results of its inaugural Meredith College Poll, focused on voter opinions about women in politics, and presented its 2015 Woman of Achievement Award to former North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Sarah Parker on Thursday, March 26. Parker attended Meredith from 1960-62.
About Meredith College
Chartered in 1891, Meredith College opened with just over 200 women. Today, our student body has grown to nearly 2,000, and includes men at the graduate level. Meredith challenges students to explore their interests, expand their skills, and build on their strengths.