November 20, 2019

The research dispels the myth that women are less electable than their male counterparts and highlights the importance of community ties.

Earlier this month, The Barbara Lee Family Foundation released "Ready, Willing, & Electable: Women running for Executive Office," unveiling quantitative research that sheds light on voters’ reactions to women candidates seeking executive office. Conducted in collaboration with APIAVote and the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies; Higher Heights Leadership Fund; the Victory Institute, and Voto Latino, "Ready, Willing, & Electable" looks at hypothetical women candidates of different races, sexual orientations, and political affiliations, from both major parties and examines what it takes for a woman to prove to voters she is ready to serve in executive office.

"We know firsthand how powerful community engagement can be— in not only who goes to the polls, but also who voters ultimately elect," said Executive Director of Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) Christine Chen in a press release, "The women in our community have the power to create change and having a familiar face, whether that is through shared cultural background or as a community leader, can make all the difference."

Some key takeaways from the research include: 

  • The idea of women being less electable than their male counterparts is a myth. However, that doesn't mean women are held to the same standards as men. 
  • Being a "bridge builder" or having the ability to build relationships and collaborate with various communities is a strong qualifier for women running for office. 
  • woman’s party affiliation, race, and sexual orientation influence what voters believe would make her seem likable more than her qualifications. There is also high overlap and many (but not all) of these traits also help to establish qualifications. 

For more information on the report, visit here.