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

Rep. Dan Johnson, R-Logan, was transported in an ambulance after an apparent medical issue in the H...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko

Utah representative transported in ambulance after apparent medical issue on House floor

Rep. Dan Johnson, R-Logan, was seated at his desk shortly after lawmakers convened for an afternoon session at 2 p.m. when the incident occurred.

1 hour ago

utah lake shown, a bill tackling a failed lake project has advanced...

Adam Small

A bill to undo law regarding controversial, failed Utah Lake project advances to the full House

The law that would be repealed through this bill is the same law that created the Utah Lake Restoration Act.

3 hours ago

Former president Donald Trump, Manhattan trial...

MICHAEL R. SISAK

With trial starting next month, Manhattan DA asks judge for a gag order in Trump’s hush-money case

The Manhattan DA's office asked that Trump be barred from making or directing others to make public statements about people involved in the case.

5 hours ago

Utah capitol clock...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko, KSL.com

These are the biggest unresolved issues as Utah lawmakers enter last week of session

The 2024 Utah Legislative Session will come to a close on March 1. Here are some of the biggest bills yet to be passed.

9 hours ago

utah lawmakers shown, a new resolution wants to address the natalie cline controversy...

Allessandra Harris

Lawmakers working to approve budget as legislative session enters last week

Lawmakers are looking to approve final budget as the legislative session enters the final week. The session ends March 1.

10 hours ago

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, left, and President Joe Biden toast before Biden speaks to members of the Na...

Darlene Superville

Biden and Utah’s governor call for less bitterness and more bipartisanship in the nation’s politics

President Joe Biden and Utah Gov. Spencer Cox spoke at the White House during a black-tie dinner for the nation's governors.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

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