Engaging Women in the News
Engaging Women faculty frequently comment on issues related to gender equity in local government.
Women Paving the Way in Elected Leadership
Engaging Women co-founder Margaret Henderson talked to Frank Stasio of WUNC’s State of Things about the persistent challenges for women in local government leadership and how oral histories of trailblazing women will be featured at the June 8th Engaging Women conference.
On Representative Bureaucracy
“Whenever citizens see government as being representative of the community being served, those citizens also see that government as being more legitimate, and in some cases they’re more cooperative and supportive of government action” SOG Professor Leisha DeHart-Davis
“One driver is that local governments compete with each other for the best workers,” UNC School of Government professor Leisha DeHart-Davis said in an email. “And parental leave is one way to up the ante, to convey that the local government is with the times.”
“Society has expectations for behavior that differ for women and men. Women are taught to be nurturing. Men are taught to be in control and commanding,” DeHart-Davis said. “That creates a problem for women who are pursuing leadership positions because your average commissioner or council member is going to think of a man when they think of a leader. That doesn’t mean that women are permanently disadvantaged. It does mean that women will have to play that game a little differently.”
At any given level of American government, women hold only 20 percent of the public service leadership roles. The UNC School of Government is working to change those statistics. The episode of the UNC podcast wellsaid features an interview about women in leadership roles in government with UNC School of Government associate professor Leisha DeHart-Davis.