An article worth sharing from the MPA@UNC blog. Emily Leuning, ELGL public affairs assistant, has interview Leisha DeHart-Davis for a follow up article on the “Engaging Women in Public Service: Taking Your Place and Paying it Forward
June 17th, 2014 by
Director, manager, administrator, and mayor are all titles given to leaders serving in the state and local government. In North Carolina, there is a disproportionately small number of women who hold these titles.
Women do not currently hold any leadership roles in the state’s general assembly where they make up 25 percent of the House of Representatives and 16 percent of the Senate. In the judicial system, women are in the minority. There are 100 county managers in North Carolina; eight are women. Eighteen percent of the state’s mayors are women.
UNC School of Government faculty member Leisha DeHart-Davis and recent MPA graduate Carla Davis-Castro presented the findings from a recent study about women in leadership roles in both state and local government during a one-day workshop titled “Engaging Women in Public Service: Taking Your Place and Paying it Forward”. DeHart-Davis and Davis-Castro served on the conference’s steering committee along with faculty members Margaret Henderson and Kim Nelson.
Few organizations across the country capture data on the gender landscape in public administration, so DeHart-Davis and Davis-Castro sought to fill that void by collecting data from North Carolina municipal governments, courts, and county managers.
“The lack of data and the lack of centralized, coordinated data is creating an opportunity for us to fill in some of these gaps,” DeHart-Davis said.
DeHart-Davis said the June 6 event brought together female leaders from public and nonprofit organizations to network and discuss ways to support each others’ career goals.