Do Women Fit the Image of a Political Leader?
October 31, 2023
Do Women Fit the Image of a Political Leader? For Young Adults the Answer is Yes
About the Event
Women are still underrepresented in most governments around the world, even in established democracies. One of the frequently heard explanations is that people won’t vote for women, and they view men as better political leaders than women; in sum, that women don’t fit the image of a leader. However, what people think a leader looks like can change, particularly as they see more women in government.
In this webinar, Dr. Michelle M. Taylor-Robinson will discuss findings from The Image of Gender and Political Leadership (co-edited with Nehemia Geva, 2023 Oxford University Press) which conducted parallel experiments in 8 democratic countries with 6,324 young adults of highly diverse socio-economic backgrounds. Across these diverse cases, they find that young adults – both men and women – evaluate women as able to win votes, hold diverse posts from legislator to cabinet secretary, and manage policy areas that are stereotyped masculine such as economics. The notable exception for women fitting the image of a political leader is in cases where defense and security dominate the policy agenda. Across these diverse settings, political party, not candidate gender, is the factor that has a large impact on how young adults evaluate the capability of both men and women candidates.