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IWPR Publication

Building Women’s Political Careers: Strengthening the Pipeline to Higher Office
by Denise L. Baer, Ph.D., Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D. (May 2014)

This report was prepared by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) for Political Parity, a program of the Hunt Alternatives Fund. The report analyzes results from interviews with experienced candidates and officeholders and several focus groups with elected state legislators, young elected officials, and congressional staff members to investigate how women make the decision to run and how they develop their political careers, with a focus on seeking or achieving higher office. The report is a part of IWPR's larger body of work on examining women’s roles in civic and political leadership.Political Parity, a nonpartisan program of Hunt Alternatives Fund, supports research that tests innovative ideas and defines effective strategies to elect more women in these roles. Political Parity published a separate report and executive summary combining results from this qualitative study, the Achieving Parity Study (APS), and an original quantitative survey of state legislators, The Female State Legislators Survey (FSLS), conducted by Lake Research Partners and Chesapeake Beach Consulting. Both studies examine the motivators and obstacles female candidates and elected officials consider when deciding whether or not to run for higher office. All Political Parity publications are available at

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