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Since 2013, Women for Tennessee’s Future (WTF) has endorsed over 30 progressive women running for office across the state of Tennessee and invested nearly $75,000 in their campaigns for local and state offices… but progress has been slow. Consider these statistics:

  • Women’s representation in the TN State Legislature is stagnant, making up only 16.7% of the Legislature. The national average of all women serving in State Legislatures is 25%.
  • Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan are the only two women who serve as Mayor of one of Tennessee’s five largest cities. Chattanooga and Memphis have never elected a female Mayor.
  • More women than ever serve on the Nashville Metro Council, but still make up just over 30% of the Council.
  • In Chattanooga and Memphis, women make up just 22% and 23% of the City Councils, respectively.
  • And not surprisingly, a woman has never been elected Governor or to the U.S. Senate.

Representation 2020, a nonpartisan initiative committed to achieving gender parity in our appointed and elected offices in the United States, ranks Tennessee 43 out of 50 states.

Seriously, WTF?

So, why are there so few women serving in public office? 

Study after study shows the same results: women face many barriers to becoming candidates for public office. Consider:

  • Women are less likely to see themselves as qualified to run for office
  • Women are less likely to be recruited or groomed to run for office
  • Oftentimes women have less access to big donors and traditional powerbrokers
  • Women are still responsible for the majority of household and child care tasks that make running for office more challenging
  • Women are more likely to be turned off by the negative nature of modern campaigns

In 2018, women are overcoming these barriers and running for office in record numbers. WTF is committed to advancing and funding the next generation of female elected leaders so that we increase women’s political power and change the statistics.


Run For OfficeTake the first step.

Help a Woman Run. Join our grassroots volunteer team.

Contribute to WTF. Become a WTF member today.

And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook Icon and Twitter Icon and attend our events.

Together, we can and we will change the face of power in Tennessee and ensure our elected leaders reflect the diversity of our communities.