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Women hold 41% of state government leadership roles in Utah, up from 39% in 2020

Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson shakes hands with two people inside a building.
Mike Johnson
/
Utah State University
Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson at a May visit to Aggie Ice Cream at Utah State University.

The Utah Women and Leadership Project released a new policy briefthis month titled “How women are represented in formal leadership roles in the communities they serve.”

The research and data were collected through the Utah Department of Human Resources Management and provided information on over 4,500 leadership positions, representing over 22,000 employees across 41 agencies.

Susan Madsen, founder of the project, said this research was first published in 2020 and the updated brief shows improvement.

“We have 41.2% of leadership positions in state government held by women, which I think is some good news, we're really moving in that direction. You know, if you have 40% women, 60% men, or 60% women, 40% men, or 50-50, that gets into what the benefits say is more representation of more people who live in the state of Utah,” Madsen said.

In 2020, the report found that 39.3% of state government leadership positions were held by women.

The research had four different leadership categories. These categories were the cabinet, executive leaders such as judges and deputy directors, senior leadership known as middle management, and lastly, front-line leaders such as managers, administrators, and analysts.

“And so that's why we looked at that — the research continues to support [that] when there are more equal numbers of men and women in leadership positions within state government or other settings, decisions are made differently,” Madsen said.

Recommendations were given for the policy to assist in improving the number of women in leadership. Recommendations included committing to transparency, evaluating hiring processes, and being more intentional about the leadership ecosystem.

Hannah Castro is a junior at Utah State University studying Journalism and Public relations. Her parents were born and raised in Ecuador and migrated to the States before she was born. Hannah loves all things music and usually has a concert lined up. She enjoys being active, and recently ran her first half marathon in Salt Lake City. Hannah enjoys writing and can’t wait to further her skills at Utah Public Radio.