Dr. Jennifer Lawless will discuss and sign her book It Still Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don't Run for Office (Cambridge University Press, $27.99). Despite cultural evolution and society's changing attitudes toward women in politics, running for public office remains a much less attractive and feasible endeavor for women than men.Women are less likely than men to be recruited to run for office. They are less likely than men to think they are qualified to run for office, and they are less likely than men to express a willingness to run for office in the future. This gender gap in political ambition persists across generations and over time. This book serves as the only systematic, nationwide empirical account of the manner in which gender affects political ambition. Based on data from the Citizen Political Ambition Panel Study, a national survey conducted of almost 3,800 "potential candidates" in 2001 and a second survey of more than 2,000 of these same individuals in 2008, Jennifer L. Lawless and Richard L. Fox find that women, even in the highest tiers of professional accomplishment, are substantially less likely than men to demonstrate ambition to seek elective office. Lawless discusses the gender gap in an article on the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations' website:
We can't really begin to figure out how to minimize the gender gap in political ambition if we don't understand its roots. I'd like to share my experiences as a woman candidate in a state with a poor history of electing women and a very male-dominated political establishment. I'd like to begin a conversation about political ambition, why men have it, and why women don't. And I'd like to hope that we can use the results of my research and my experiences to guide us in thinking about how to incorporate more women into the political sphere.
Jennifer L. Lawless is an Associate Professor of Government at the American University, where she is also the Director of the Women and Politics Institute. She was previously a Professor at Brown University. Professor Lawless has published numerous articles in academic journals, such as the American Journal of Political Science, Perspectives, the Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Social Problems, and Politics and Gender, and has issued two policy reports on the barriers that impede women's candidate emergence. She is a nationally recognized speaker, and her scholarly analysis and political commentary have been quoted in various newspapers, magazines, television news programs, and radio shows. Dr. Lawless will also speak at Emerge New Mexico's 5th Anniversary Gala. Emerge NM recruits, trains, and inspires Democratic women to run for public office and win. The Gala will be held Friday, August 27, VIP Reception 5:30 PM, Celebration at 6:30 PM, at Hotel Andaluz. Tickets start at $100. For more information and tickets, please visit www.emergenm.org