Changes in women’s political representation and power occur within state political ecosystems, providing fertile ground for in-depth investigation into the complexities of place, race/ethnicity, and partisanship.
This report draws upon interviews with 192 political actors within five states – Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania – to examine both the state of and change in women’s political power from 2010 to 2023. State-focused investigation allows us to better analyze the gender and intersectional dynamics at play within state political ecosystems, which we define as the interconnected systems, networks of individuals and organizations, and overall environments in which both formal and informal politics occurs. We conducted interviews between November 2021 and June 2023. Interview subject attributions throughout this report are specific to the primary roles for which we interviewed them for this project. See our methodology for more details on interview subjects and questions.
Each of the chapters of this report reflects a key finding from our interviews. These findings are not mutually exclusive, as is evident in sites of overlap and cross-reference across chapters. The complexity within each finding – including differences across states, party, race/ethnicity, and time – is detailed in each chapter, using direct quotations from our interview subjects to illustrate important points specific to that finding and perceptions common across multiple interviews. See our state voices section for a searchable database of interview quotations – including quotations not already in the report text providing further evidence of stated findings – that is filterable by interview subject characteristics and report chapter.
In Their Own Words
Interview evidence from nearly 200 state political actors serves as the basis for this report’s findings on women’s political representation and power. Hear more from our interview subjects in their own words.