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More women in Utah politics

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freesvg.org

Nick Porath
How was this data tracked?

Susan Madsen
We just go down to the original sources, some of them are fairly easy in terms of Congress or statewide positions or even state legislature. However, when we get down to the data in terms of county level and municipality, like city councils and mayor's, we really have to go to city by city, sometimes we can get it off the websites. Other times, we just make phone calls right to the offices. So it actually takes a lot of time. And we had about four people working on it in our Utah Women and Leadership Project team.

Nick Porath
How drastically has this ratio of men to women serving in politics been changing the bigger offices?

Susan Madsen
Congress, that hasn't changed, we still have no women in Congress out of our six seats. And as of last year, we had one woman in statewide executive offices, we hadn't had one for many years before that, and that hasn't changed in the past year a little bit in terms of state legislative seats. We are still ranked 39th Out of the various states. But we're making some progress, our biggest change, however, I'll give you the good news, we're seeing jumps in women as mayor's In fact, if you look at our report from 2017, we're about 15% higher this year, and even just from last year, we shifted up, it seems like it was 6 or 7%, just just as last year,

Nick Porath
What do you think can be done to help continue this growth and maybe go into offices that haven't been changed yet?

Susan Madsen
What we know is some of the things that that we're doing now, as a state, various groups are starting to work. Sometimes it takes some years to do that, for example, our two biggest groups, Real Women Run, which is a group I'm on the board of that group does trainings and conferences to really help train women to up their aspirations, but really on how to do things like how to raise money, how to get out the air, you know, speaking and just preparing in so many different ways. So we have a lot of things at Real Women Run. The Women's Leadership Institute also has a political development series that has about 50 women, I think more than that, maybe even that join every year for six months, and they give lots of good training. And there's some other groups as well. So that is one piece, but also the work that we do and others do to just continue to help people understand that we're working on unconscious bias because we have a lot women and men, we still know from the research that most people when they think of politicians, when they think of leaders, they really in their minds go to men, most often white men. So in mind, there really still is a connection. And so if we're not paying attention, we tend to vote for what we've seen through the years which is not always the best.

Nicholas Porath is a Logan native and music lover. He recently graduated from USU with a degree in broadcast journalism. It was while studying journalism that he found his niche and newfound love for radio. He first started out as an intern behind the scenes and found his way to the control room where he now hosts Here & Now on Monday through Friday from 11-1. Nick is also the producer for DEBUNKED.