The Breakdown: Why Women are Running for Office

Posted by She Should Run on October 17, 2017 at 12:00 PM

Marie Claire

By Kayla Webley Adler and Jen Ortiz

We surveyed over 700 women to uncover everything from what's motivating them to their biggest fears, and the results are fascinating.

This year, thousands of women have said they want to run for office. What’s motivating them? In partnership with She Should Run and VoteRunLead, we surveyed 750 female potential candidates to find out.

Editor's note: Most percentages do not add up to 100, as survey takers were allowed to choose more than one answer.

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57% before the November 2016 election

43% after the November 2016 election


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36% to have more women at the table

30% to make an impact on an issue they care about

28% to make a difference in their communities

5% to inspire the next generation of women


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53% say they don’t like the direction the country is headed in

28% say the results of the last presidential election influenced them

16% say they’ve been asked to run by others


54% qualifications being questioned

51% fundraising, campaigning, public speaking, and all of that!

50% managing a personal life and a campaign

95% of women surveyed said female candidates are not treated fairly in the political arena.


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45% diversity of perspective

20% ability to build consensus/work with people with opposing views

15% results—women get stuff done!


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56% no one has ever encouraged them to run

51% the patriarchy!

48% they are the primary caregiver in the family

24% it doesn’t pay enough


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23% at least 10 years from now

19% within five years

16% by 2020


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56% knowing how they will make a living

48% figuring out what issues to tackle

This article is part of our "Women Running for Office" series, which originally appeared in Marie Claire's November 2017 issue, on newsstands October 17. To view the full package, click here.

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