We can vote, now we need to lead

Women fought for and finally won the right to vote 100 years ago, but many Black and poor women still face barriers in exercising that right and women still have not gained the “right” to lead. Women constitute about 51% of the population and 47% of the workforce, but men occupy most of the governmental leadership positions. In 2018 a record number of women ran for office and many were elected. Yet, in 2018 women were only 23% of the mayors of the 100 largest cities, 28.6% of state legislators, 9 of the governors, and 23.7% of the US Congress. Of note, 102 of the 127 in Congress were Democrats. Currently, men lead all but one of the major healthcare components of the US Government—HHS, NIH, CDC, FDA, VA, and Surgeon General; only CMS is headed by a woman. Although both parties have nominated women for Vice President and the Democratic Party had Hillary Clinton as their presidential candidate, no woman has served as Vice President or President in 231 years. 42% of 144 nations in the world have had a female top leader—prime minister, president, or both in the last 50 years. Moreover, the US ranks 99th out of 193 countries in the percentage of women in the national legislature! There is an abundance of data that women leaders improve an organization’s financial performance. Also, women’s leadership improves the distribution of resources and contributes to peace. Our country certainly could benefit from all those outcomes. Let’s not wait another 100 or even 10 years before we see equality in governmental leadership for women.

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