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Engaging Women researchers are currently working on a range of topics related to gender in local government leadership, including the existence of the glass cliff (where women disproportionately land riskier leadership positions), understanding the gendered nature of local government career paths, and gender differences in leadership experiences.

ICMA has funded a UNC-School of Government research project entitled Near the Top: Understanding Gender Imbalance in Local Government Management.The project will seek to understand the factors contributing to racial and gender underrepresentation in local government management.  Researchers from six universities (UNC included) will conduct interviews, resume analysis and a survey of local government managers and assistant managers across the country. ELGL and League of Women in Government are partners in the research. If you are interested in participating in the research, please contact principal investigator Leisha DeHart-Davis at

In an upcoming article in the Academy of Management Proceedings, Sheela Pandey, Leisha DeHart-Davis and Sanjay Pandey find that research participants in an experiment are more likely “fight” an unethical female city manager (go the the city attorney) and “flee” an unethical male manager (start looking for a new job).