Study Finds College Women Doubt Their Leadership Potential

October 22, 2013

We all know that taking on leadership positions is an important part of a college experience. But what if I told you that women’s sense of their leadership potential falls during the college years, while men’s rises? Would you be surprised?

According to a new report, college women do not have the same desire to “become politically engaged and represent their communities” as men. Furthermore, college women are less likely “to believe that they have the leadership qualities, competitiveness, and social competency that would qualify them for office.” The study concludes that these factors may partly explain the staggering underrepresentation of women in political office. Today, women currently hold 18 percent of the seats in Congress and make up just 17 percent of city mayors.

For this reason, AAUW and Running Start continue to hold Elect Her–Campus Women Win to encourage and train college women to run for office in student government and beyond. Elect Her works. Just ask Ana Morales, one of 13 participants who are now serving as president of their student governments, or Stefani Jones and several other Duke University Elect Her alumnae, who grew women’s representation in their student government to record levels.

These are just a few of our Elect Her rock stars. Last year, 38 colleges and universities offered trainings for women on their campuses. We are excited to announce that this year Elect Her will hold 50 trainings at colleges around the nation: 17 new campuses and 33 returning sites!

A large group of young women stands and smiles on a staircase

University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, students at their 2013 Elect Her training

Like Elect Her on Facebook, and e-mail for more information.

This post was written by AAUW Campus Leadership Programs Intern Jessica Bonilla.

By:   |   October 22, 2013


  1. […] Study Finds College Women Doubt Their Leadership Potential […]

  2. […] thus raising the quality of corporate boardrooms and academia everywhere?  For some examples, see the AAUW initiatives on training women on college campuses for leadership roles in civic engagement, and Nicholas Kristof’s article in the New York […]

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