For the American version of the Fawcett report, see the recent Brookings Institute report which surveyed thousands of men and women in public service, to produce “the first comprehensive investigation of the process by which women and men decide to enter the electoral arena.” The good news is that by most measures, women perform as well as men in office and once on ballots. The less thrilling news is that women are far less likely to run. This is for both internal and external reasons, e.g., women report feeling less ambitious with respect to high office, but in addition, women are asked less often, seeming to occur as options less often to recruiters. (Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post immediately noticed the difference between women in public service primarily responsible for house- and child-care, 60%, and men in public service primarily responsible for house- and child-care, 4%. One might call that a significant difference!)
If only my dad were in a position of power. When I asked him to imagine candidates for vice-president, all he could come up with in either party were the names of women. I suggested, oh, about 80% of the U.S. Senate, to which he replied, “Nah.” Way to go, Dad!