Modern Family: How Women Candidates Can Talk About Politics, Parenting, and Their Personal Lives

Our Latest Research

As more women run for office and are elected, voters question how women can serve constituents and take care of family responsibilities at the same time. Women candidates wonder whether they should talk about their family and personal life and how to do so without alienating voters.

About Us

The Barbara Lee Family Foundation advances women’s equality and representation in American politics and in the field of contemporary art. Our work in both our program areas is guided by our core belief that women’s voices strengthen our democracy and enrich our culture.

Our Research

The Essential Guide

This guide is the compilation of nearly 20 years of research studying the complex attitudes toward women candidates, every woman’s campaign for governor on both sides of the aisle, and real-time polling on voters’ views on everything from words that work for women candidates to how to call out an opponent’s record.


The Foundation produces unique and original research highlighting the obstacles and opportunities women candidates encounter when running for leadership positions, particularly executive office.

The Politics of Gender: Men, Women, and the 2016 Election

This campaign season, highly public debates about the intersection of feminism, misogyny and sexism have exposed a dark side of American politics and society. As these debates continue, we partnered with the Atlantic to explore the changing landscape of American demographics, the politics of gender perceptions and the role women play in leadership.


The Foundation partners with other nonpartisan organizations dedicated to helping women succeed in American politics. The goal: to change the dialogue about what a leader looks like.

Featured Partner

The Higher Heights Leadership Fund

Higher Heights Leadership Fund is building a national civic engagement infrastructure and network to strengthen Black women’s leadership capacity. Higher Heights Leadership Fund is investing in a long-term strategy to expand and support Black women’s leadership pipeline at all levels and strengthen their civic participation beyond just Election Day.

Featured Program

Presidential Gender Watch 2016

Presidential Gender Watch 2016 is a nonpartisan project of the Center for American Women and Politics and the Barbara Lee Family Foundation to track, analyze, and illuminate gender dynamics in the 2016 presidential election. Presidential Gender Watch 2016 draws upon the research and expertise of both partner organizations, as well as other experts, to further public understanding of how gender the race for the nation’s highest executive office.


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