Millions of US Women Could be Motivated to Run for Office — She Should Run Knows How

Erin Loos Cutraro | May 15, 2023


During Women’s History Month, She Should Run released our ‘Group Chat Issues’ report, the culmination of more than a year’s worth of research and analysis to uncover the key motivators that have the potential to encourage a critical mass of women to consider elected office. What we uncovered was an untapped, addressable market of nearly 24 million US women from all walks of life who could be motivated to consider elected leadership. 


Utilizing our own data and research from YWCA USA and UN Women, we found that the majority of women—across demographics and ideologies—are motivated by issues that disproportionately affect them. These include the Economy, Climate Change, Reproductive Health, Racism, and Gun Violence. Additionally, women are most likely to take action on issues related to children, health, education, and poverty. As a result, these commonalities are motivating factors to consider seeking elected office.


We surveyed more than 400 women aged 18-75 across geographic regions and party affiliations to develop an understanding of the data about women running for office, Gen Z’s take on politics, and what motivates women to consider elected leadership. In addition to uncovering the issues motivating women, the data revealed 22.4% (or 24.4 million) of adult women in the US are primed to take action and be motivated to seek elected office, creating a large addressable market to increase women’s representation in government. Another interesting finding was that more than 70% of women considering running for office discuss current issues on social media, confirming once more that women rely on a sense of communitywhether virtual or in-personto address some of the nation’s most pressing challenges. 


Prior to our research, the generally accepted judgment about women was that they are motivated by gender equality and a lack of representation as a standalone issue for seeking change. In reality, women are motivated by the everyday “kitchen table” issues that show up in their lives. Research shows that women, especially those seeking leadership roles, benefit from an inner circle of close female friends to discuss personal information. As a result, She Should Run is evolving the term for the issues of importance to women to “Group Chat Issues” in order to capture the spirit of women in 2023 and highlight the everyday issues that matter to them now.


Our research not only allowed us to gain insight into the issues disproportionately affecting women, but has and will continue to inform the development and content of our programs in the months and years to come. 


Last month, we held the first installment of our five-webinar series where we dug into the local actions that can address climate change. In June, we’ll host a gathering with some of the brightest minds in gun violence prevention to learn how to craft persuasive messaging and maintain hope in an emotionally intense movement. 


Progress is incremental, but if we want to see a truly equitable democracy that celebrates the full and beautiful diversity of perspective and life experience of this country, we must engage more women in the conversation by meeting them where they are on the issues that matter to them most.


Whether they’re serving as the local county clerk or a federal legislator, when women are at the table, our democracy is made stronger. Together, we’re building the pipeline of future elected leaders our country deserves. Will you join us? 


About She Should Run 

She Should Run is a national, nonpartisan nonprofit working to drastically increase the number of women from all walks of life considering elected office. As the only lead-finders for the field of women’s representation, we have a bold goal to inspire 250,000 women to take their first steps toward public leadership and join our community by 2030. Our programs mobilize women from all walks of life to awaken to the power of their leadership potential. Learn more at

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