Women: More Policy, Less Politicking — Here’s Evidence

By Political Parity on February 24, 2015

At Political Parity, we’ve long held that women are more effective legislators than men – and now we have more proof. Just last week, Quorum, an Internet start-up led by two Harvard undergrads, affirmed that female political leaders are indeed more collaborative and productive, and they’re willing to work across the aisle to achieve results.

Through data analysis of bill passage, vote records, and other publicly available legislative information, Quorum found that over the past seven years, female senators introduced more legislation, co-sponsored more bills, worked more frequently with colleagues of the opposite party, and enacted more bills into law than their male colleagues in the Senate.

We’re heartened, but not surprised. From broadening public health research to spearheading protections against sexual assault in the military to ending the government shutdown, women have long led the way on Capitol Hill. So how do they do it, especially in a highly partisan environment?

Our prior research shows that women enter elective office to facilitate positive change in their communities. They’re motivated by a desire to achieve specific policy goals and less concerned about their personal advancement. They seek common ground, especially when compromise is needed to get things done.

Women also bring to the political process a wide diversity of life experiences, which reflect those of many Americans. They’re teachers, lawyers, soccer moms, and caretakers. They manage households, pay mortgages, coordinate childcare, and cut coupons. This broader understanding inspires and empowers female legislators to put people before politics, pushing forward policies that matter and make a difference.

Today, 20 percent of women are leading the way in a Congress that’s 80 percent male. Imagine what they’ll achieve with parity. Efficiency, effectiveness, and greater civility beckon.