UAlbany Survey Reveals Slow
to No Growth for Women in Top Leadership Posts
Leadership Profiles show women gain 2 percent
in government positions over the past seven
* The national and individual states' Women’s
Leadership Profiles 2004 are available as a
PDF file at http://www.cwig.albany.edu/2004leadershipprofile.pdf
(PDF Documents require
Acrobat Reader) *
Contact: Karl Luntta (518) 437-4980
ALBANY, N.Y. (October 20, 2004) -- In one-third
of the 50 states, women’s percentage of top
policy positions across the three branches of
state government fell or remained level between
1998 and 2004, according to new state profiles
released today by the University at Albany's
Center for Women in Government & Civil Society.
The average gain in women’s share of top policy
leadership posts among all 50 states was 1.9
In 10 states, the number of women in top positions
went down 1 to 5 percentage points over the
seven-year period: Arkansas, Idaho, Minnesota,
Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey,
Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Washington.
However, Washington, as well as Arizona, Colorado,
New Mexico and Vermont, ranked as the top five
states for women in leading policy posts, with
women holding 33 to nearly 37 percent of the
“Women’s progress into positions of policy
leadership is not a sure thing at all,"
said Judith Saidel, executive director of the
Center. "These findings document a disappointing
picture: the rate of change is slow and, in
too many states, is moving in the wrong direction.
Much work remains to be done before parity is
achieved in any category of executive, legislative,
or judicial leadership."
Gains of more than 5 percentage points by
women occurred in only seven states. Over the
seven years, the average increase for the 33
states where women experienced gains was 3.8
percentage points. In New York, 24.8 percent
of top government posts are held by women, a
5 percentage-point increase since 1998.
The profiles portray a country in which women
are governors in nine states, lieutenant governors
in 16 states, and chief justices in 17 states.
Women hold top leadership posts in two Senates
and four Houses of state legislatures.
In both 1998 and 2004, women participated
in political decision-making as top staff advisors
in governors’ offices more than in any other
leadership cohort. The proportion of women was
lowest in both years in state legislatures.
Comparing the national gains women achieved
between 1998 and 2004 in all three branches
of state government, their largest successes
were in winning election or appointment as justices
in the highest court of each state.
The Women’s Leadership Profiles report data
on top elected and appointed policy leaders
in state government. Find individual state profiles
(click on "Research").
Judith Saidel, the report's author, can be
reached at (518) 442-3896.
The Center for Women in
Government & Civil Society is part of the
Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy,
University at Albany. For more information,
write to 135 Western Avenue, Albany, NY 12222
or contact: (518) 442-3900, firstname.lastname@example.org,
or visit www.cwig.albany.edu.