Last night was the 2nd Annual She Should Run National Conversation, where two panels recapped what the recent election means for women in politics and for government. It was particularly interesting to hear how Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (New York) and Congresswoman-Elect Carol Shea-Porter (one of the members of the upcoming all-woman delegation from New Hampshire) see things. They had great insight about how to deal with sexism in politics, citing the need to not only name it and not back down, but to shame it, too.
As they said, all too often, women turn away from running for office because of the mudslinging and sexism women candidates tend to encounter, especially if they have families they want to keep out of that atmosphere. And so in dealing with it that way, not only do women undo whatever damage it might have caused to their campaign and even come out ahead in the confrontation, but they also help clear the path for more and more women to run.
That was the ultimate takeaway of the conversation: as exciting as it is that the latest election broke the record for women in Congress, the United States still has a lot of work to do when it comes to parity in political representation. And so we hope to see our alumnae taking what they’ve learned from Running Start and becoming part of making that happen!