For a significant period in history, men have held the most potent ranks in leadership. The past governmental construction was hugely archetypical with male political leaders, in both powerful and lesser positions. Until the last few decades, females in legal administrative offices were significantly lacking (Rhode 35). Women’s prejudice was dominant, and society had stereotypical perspectives of female leadership within a legislative position. In 1937, for instance, when Gallup asked electorates if they would vote for a qualified woman as president, only one-third gave an affirmative response (Rhode 36). Up to the late 1970s, this gender’s federal representation was under one percent, and, during this time, only two women served in the government – one as a governor and the other as senator (Rhode 36). Over the decades, however, social dynamisms have led to some landmark shifts in hierarchal positions, especially in the gender contextualization.
Women’s political leadership in the US has undergone slight but considerable metamorphoses in the last few decades. Albeit, evidence point that America is still lagging in the maturation of the aforementioned issue. Although females are arguably the dominant electorates – accounting for over 50 percent of the registered voters as of 2017 – only nineteen percent of the Congress, twelve percent of the governors, and nineteen percent of the mayors were female. This representation ranks the US at 78 globally in women’s presentations in governmental offices (Rhode 35). As of 2019, Nevada was the first state with females holding most of its legislative seats. Furthermore, the New Hampshire Senate became the first legislative chamber among the forty-eight states to transcend gender parity during 2009; however, its overall percentage in both parliaments was still below 50.
From these data, it is evident that, despite the milestone made towards female governmental leadership, the US is still a relatively political infant in this realm compared to other nations like Slovakia, Bangladesh, and Saudi Arabia, which ranked above it. However, the recent numbers are also critically positive indicators of the paradigm shifts of the political leadership-gender characteristics. Albeit, some quarters still perceive it otherwise, compared to the old American political space, recent numbers are indicative of a positive attitude towards female involvement in governmental administration.
Rhode, Deborah L. Women and Leadership. Oxford University Press, 2017.