Female Political Representation in Utah

Utah consistently ranks last in terms of female political representation. Although, female representation in Utah is slowly increasing, there is still work to be done.

In early 2014 the Utah Women & Leadership Project released a research brief titled The Status of Utah Women in Politics. The brief outlines research and statistics that shed light on how few Utah women are currently represented in politics.

In light of the shocking status of female political representation in Utah, a group of local thought leaders gathered together to discuss possible steps to take with the goal of increasing female political representation in Utah. To view the full impact recommendations report please click here.

Financial incentives and support

  • First, encourage potential candidates by creating PACs for female candidates.
  • Offer training and education on self-promotion and unconscious bias.
  • Have strategic conversations with major donors/decision-makers in Utah politics, including current elected officials.
  • Bring fundraising training to the general population.

Capability building

  • Create a media campaign and press outreach regarding why we need women in politics at all levels.
  • Design consistent messaging.
  • Engage in networking conversations. That way elected officials can help
  • Have networking conversations and do outreach with elected officials.
  • Encourage and empower women more generally; identify and reach out to civically engaged women, educate them on personal benefits of running, and provide tools on moving forward.

Advocacy and shaping attitudes

  • Create consistent messaging. This way, more people will see the importance of women in political leadership positions.
  • Find ways to include men and bring them in on the efforts. We must educate, raise awareness, and challenge assumptions.
  • Connect with LDS (Mormon) church on what messaging might be helpful for women.

Laws, policies, and regulations

  • Explore agricultural extension services for women.
  • Continue exploring more options for women. For example, SB 54 even with a challenging start has potential and provides options.
  • Continue to offer training through Real Women Run.

Research and data

  • Another option is to look at other states and sources of data.
  • Add special service districts, expand database, and add photo and bio/statement for the public and make gender data available at back office level only.
  • Provide incentives or strategies for county clerksto actually submit information; consider highlighting candidates and elected officials who are missing
  • Explore the data that is already available through the Lt. Governor’s Office.

Clearly, there are actions any citizen can take regardless of professional position, education level or socio-economic status. If we utilized these recommendations, it is possible to change the way women in Utah are represented politically. To learn more about female political representation in Utah read the original research brief or full list of recommendations.

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