LOGAN – Several years of national research rank Utah last in terms of women holding decision-making and leadership positions in government.
Susan Madsen is the first Karen Huntsman Endowed Professor of Leadership in USU’s Huntsman School of Business and founding director of the Utah Women & Leadership Project (UWLP).
She says there is much to be done, but there has been progress.
“One of the biggest jumps has been in mayors in the state of Utah, for different municipalities,” Dr. Madsen explains, “although there are still only 17 percent that are female mayors in Utah. This is a nine percent jump from even just four years ago.”
Dr. Madsen says party politics are often a challenge for women.
“More women do come up through the Democratic party than the Republican party, even nationally. And of course you know that the Republican party is very strong in the state of Utah,” Dr. Madsen adds. “So, generally speaking, women don’t emerge as much from the Republican party.”
Madsen says research shows women win elections at the same rate as men, it’s just that fewer women run for office.