I love this time of year: Election Season. A time when videos emerge urging people, and more importantly getting people pumped, to vote. A time when I get to see political memes flood my Facebook newsfeed. A time where I feel powerful because I am invoking my right to vote for the decision-makers in my community.
It’s a great time.
Although, while I tend to be a political junkie and get way too excited about the latest Ready For Hillary giveaway – there’s still something that bothers me about Election Season: not enough women in elected office.
So, I came up with three (out of 100) reasons why you should all go out and vote for the capable and qualified the women on your ballot for midterm elections. You’re welcome.
1. Women are more effective at building consensus and advancing bills than their male colleagues. Remember when our government literally shutdown for over two weeks? Do you remember who reached across party lines to format solutions? The women. Both Democrats and Republicans. Together. Figuring it out and getting it done.
According to Maine Republican Susan Collins, she doesn’t “think it’s a coincidence that women were so heavily involved in trying to end this stalemate… Although we span the ideological spectrum, we are used to working together in a collaborative way.” If you want things to get done in your community, I suggest voting for people who will who will put aside bipartisan squabbling and get bills passed and decisions made.
2. Diversity in leadership is a great thing. Profitability of diversity expert, Sheryl Axelrod, tells us that, “The reason diversity works is that on almost every measure, greater racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse workplace teams function more effectively than more homogenous teams. Members from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives avoid “groupthink,” whereas non-diverse teams get mired in it.”
Are you often times frustrated with politics because you feel as though politicians do not reflect your views? That may be because we keep electing the same type of people – male, white, wealthy – over and over again to represent us. When in fact, while 65% of officeholders are white men they’re only 31 percent of the population. As Marie Wilson from the White House Project once said: “You can’t be what you can’t see. So, we need to start electing more women so that we actually have a chance for political parity by 2025 and have a government that is reflective of the population.
3. In order to get more women running for office, women need role models. According to a recent Girl Scout Research Institute study, “37% of girls want to become a politician, but they need mentors”. So, it’s not that girls don’t WANT to run for office, it’s that “only 32% believe society encourages women to be politicians, and… 74% believe that if they were to go into politics, they would have to work harder than a man to be taken seriously.” Let’s give young girls some female political role models to look up to.
I urge you to check out which women are running in your area – and see if they are in line with your values and beliefs. And if they are, vote for them.
I’m not telling you to vote for women just for the sake of voting for women. I’m telling you to vote for women so that we can create positive change in this country from local to federal levels.