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Local Leaders Talk Women in Politics

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Three successful Massachusetts officeholders shared personal and professional insights from their journeys to political leadership.

Ayanna Pressley and Katherine Clark at Tisch College event

On November 12, Tisch College hosted Boston City Council Member Ayanna Pressley, U.S. Congresswoman Katherine Clark, and Massachusetts Representative Keiko Orrall for an insightful Women in Politics panel as part of our Distinguished Speaker Series. The panel, moderated by Boston Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham focused on leadership, public service, and government, especially in relation to the challenges and opportunities for women in political leadership.

Tufts President Anthony P. Monaco offered welcoming remarks at the event, while Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Director of Tisch College’s Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), introduced the panelists and shared some of our leading research on women and girls’ political leadership. For example, women’s representation at various levels of elected office in the United States has stalled at around 20% since the 1990s, and there is a troubling gender gap in how women and girls of all ages perceive their leadership abilities.

“The challenges for getting more women to run begins when those women are girls, informing that aspiration and giving that sense of entitlement to feel emboldened enough to not have to ask for permission to lead,” said Councillor Pressley, who had worked for 16 years behind the scenes on political campaigns before being recruited to run for office.

Watch the full video of the panel below: