Beyond the Ambition Gap: Challenging the Systems That Keep Women Off Ballots and Out of Office

When it comes to women in political office, the United States trails far behind peer nations. In women’s political empowerment, the United States currently ranks 73 of 144 countries included in the World Economic Forum’s 2016 Global Gender Gap Index. In recent years, many have blamed an ambition gap on the part of American women to explain their unfortunate lack of political representation. In recent months, however, thousands of new women have come forward, eager to reverse this long-standing trend and run for political office. To succeed, they will need more than personal drive and public good will. They will have to break through the very real—if hidden—structural barriers that keep newcomers out of politics and reinforce the grip of a disproportionately white and male incumbency.

Please join the Center for American Progress Action Fund for a discussion of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for women in U.S. politics. Our featured guests and panelists will share their experiences as candidates, politicians, campaign professionals, advocates, and activists as they explore how to overcome the unique barriers that women—and women of color in particular—currently face.

Introductory remarks:
Carmel Martin, Executive Vice President for Policy, Center For American Progress Action Fund

Keynote remarks:
Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA)
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)

Featured panelists:
Kate Black, Chief of Staff, EMILY’s List
Jessica Byrd, Founder, Three Point Strategies
Glynda C. Carr, Co-Founder, Higher Heights for America

Moderated by:
Judith Warner, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress Action Fund

Additional information

A light breakfast will be served.