Publication Date

April 2015


Erika Franklin Fowler, Sarah Wiliarty




English (United States)


Political scientist have explored why there are so few women who run for office and provided myriad reasons for their underrepresentation ranging from social pressures to domestic responsibilities to personal fears. Within the existing body o research scholars have identified that there is a dearth of political ambition among eligible women especially compared to their male counterparts. Research has also pointed to the idea that women do not consider themselves qualified to run for office. However, very little research has been done on how we can fix the deficit of political ambition and confidence among women. Because women’s organizations provide women with a chance to socialize in an empowering environment in this study I look to them as a possible solution. I use a survey experiment on a population of female lawyers to examine political women’s organizations, nonpolitical women’s organizations and their relationship to political ambition and confidence. I find that women in political women’s organizations are more likely to be ambitious and women in nonpolitical women’s organizations specifically for women in law are more likely to be politically ambitious and confident.



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