A View from the Top: Gender Differences in Legislative Priorities Among State Legislative Leaders

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dana Dunn, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Women are no longer token participants in the governing process in U.S. state legislatures. Rather, they comprise more than one fifth of the state legislative membership and have become a visible force in leadership, holding about fifteen percent of all leadership positions. Unfortunately, there has been no systematic effort to examine the differences between the issue priorities of men and women leaders. Given the growing number of women in leadership and the importance of leaders as agenda setters, this question warrants attention. Our results indicate that while women are a growing part of modern legislative leadership teams, they are less prominent in key leadership positions. Women leaders in our sample do have legislative agendas distinct from their male counterparts. Specifically, women leaders are more likely to report issues of traditional concern to women: health care, social services, women’s family and children’s issues, and the environment as priorities. They are less likely than are men to emphasize taxes, budget matters, public safety, institutional regulation and matters of insurance or product liability as legislative priorities. Further, we find that differences between women and men leaders remain significant when controls for party, race, experience, type of leadership position and region are included in the model.

Additional Information

Women & Politics
Language: English
Date: 2008
leadership, women, politics, women leaders

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