POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Women in politics, why it’s more challenging to land roles

Nov 22, 2023, 4:00 PM | Updated: 4:55 pm

Celeste Maloy gives television interviews after the race was called in her favor at an election nig...

Celeste Maloy gives television interviews after the race was called in her favor at an election night party at the Utah Trucking Association in West Valley City on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023. Maloy was running against Democratic state Sen. Kathleen Riebe, D-Cottonwood Heights, in the special election to fill Rep. Chris Stewart’s seat in the 2nd Congressional District. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Republican Celeste Maloy won the special election for Utah’s 2nd Congressional District on Tuesday, making her one of five women who have represented Utah in the House of Representatives. 

The win has sparked a conversation about the uphill battle women face in politics. 

Susan Madsen, director of the Women and Leadership Project at Utah State University, joined Dave and Dujanovic to discuss what it’s like to be a woman in politics. 

 

Madsen said an endorsement from former Rep. Chris Stewart played a crucial part in Maloy’s win. That and overall “…how important men are in supporting women and using their voices. And I think that really made a difference.” 

When taking a look at the history of women representing Utah, it’s evident not many have had the chance. 

Madsen said having representation helps bring an issues to the table that women and families care about. 

“This is not going to be a surprise to you, but women and men think differently and we have different experiences,” she said.

With different experiences come varying perspectives. Madsen believes bringing different perspectives, as part of the role in Congress, is really important for the state of Utah. 

Difficulties women face in politics

Historically, Madsen said, as a population we expect women to be in private roles and men in public roles, especially in religious states like Utah.

Maloy told KSL NewsRadio on Wednesday, “I’ve got to show the people in this district in a very short amount of time that I can be effective for them.” 

Madsen said that it typically takes one other person to encourage a man to run for office. For women, it takes three. 

“What we know from the research is it really takes at least three people to say to a woman “you should run” till she feels like “oh, maybe I should, maybe I have what it takes.”

Bias and discrimination also play a key role in why women are apprehensive about running. 

“They get asked questions that men would never be asked, I have to tell you, we have collected data on that,” she said. “And been shamed a lot.” 

Although women face more challenges, numbers have increased over the years. 

“We’re starting to turn as of just a couple of years ago, on increasing numbers in city councils,” Madsen said. 

Related reading:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Politics + Government

View of Salt Lake City pictured, governor is cracking down on denver sending immigrants to utah...

Aimee Cobabe

Utah governor’s office pushing back against Denver for bussing immigrants to Utah

Gov. Spencer Cox's office says that the City of Denver did not consult with them about sending immigrants to Utah.

24 hours ago

The Capitol is pictured in Salt Lake City, the governor hascalled a special session...

Sam Herrera and Jessica Lowell

Gov. Cox calls special legislative session to be held on Juneteenth

The special legislative session happens on Juneteenth. The governor's office said it would observe Juneteenth on Monday rather than Wednesday.

1 day ago

A Biden-Harris campaign sign is seen among signs for other Utah Democratic Party candidates during ...

Eric Cabrera

Stealing campaign signs could get you a misdemeanor charge

Police say stealing campaign signs from your neighbor's lawn could cost you a misdemeanor, or even the right to vote.

1 day ago

Image of GOP primary candidates for Utah's 1st Congressional District, Paul Miller (left) and the i...

Curt Gresseth

Utah’s GOP primary: Miller challenging Moore in 1st District

In the Republican primary, Paul Miller is challenging incumbent Rep. Blake Moore for Utah's 1st Congressional District.

2 days ago

As the push to the Republican primary election for U.S. Senate heats up, one candidate appears to ...

Daniel Woodruff, ksl.com

Brad Wilson appears to be pulling back in U.S. Senate race

As the push to the Republican primary election for U.S. Senate heats up, Brad Wilson appears to be slowing down.

2 days ago

This combo image shows President Joe Biden, left, Jan. 5, 2024, and Republican presidential candida...

Heather Peterson

Presidential election approaches, and Utah has donated more to Biden

As the 2024 presidential election approaches, donations for President Joe Biden's campaign in Utah are outpacing those of Donald Trump.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Women in politics, why it’s more challenging to land roles