Measuring Women's Political and Policy Leadership: Toward a Five-Pillared Framework of Analysis
This consulting report was compiled as a capstone project through the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University
The Women in Public Service Project (WPSP) is the flagship program of the Wilson Center’s Global Women’s Leadership Initiative. Founded in 2011 to conduct action-oriented research, WPSP’s overarching objective has been to encourage and empower women around the world to achieve equal representation in elected and appointed political and policy leadership positions by 2050. However, in order to document a country’s journey towards gender equality, the Wilson Center must first determine the status quo regarding women in politics and public administration — a task academics and practitioners in the field continue to struggle with due to limited data availability and cross-national cultural and historical variance. Initial findings, nevertheless, suggest that men and women still do not have the same opportunities to take part in the political and policymaking process.
The Wilson Center’s goal is to advocate for institutional change on a global stage, while fostering transparency and accountability. As such, our most important task as the Georgetown University Capstone Team was to systematically collect and organize evidence of women’s political and policy leadership in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, especially in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and Sweden. Moving forward, our database will help WPSP track the representation of women in national leadership positions and the incidence of factors that may promote or impede their ability to be elevated to such roles.