Barbara Lee Family Foundation

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.

Gender on the Ballot

The Barbara Lee Family Foundation and the Women in Politics Institute at American University are proud to partner for Gender on the Ballot, a nonpartisan project to examine and contextualize gender dynamics in the 2020 election cycle. As the conversation and culture around running for office in the United States continues to evolve, Gender on the Ballot will contribute to the national dialogue on gender and politics through accessible content from experts and practitioners.

Women don't run for office looking for fame or fortune, they run to make a difference.

Barbara Lee

Our Research

Keys to Elected Office: The Essential Guide for Women

For 20 years, the Barbara Lee Family Foundation has studied every woman’s campaign for governor on both sides of the aisle, including real-time polling on voters’ views and post-election interviews with candidates and campaign staff. Keys to Elected Office: The Essential Guide for Women offers the most direct, must-know advice we’ve gleaned for women elected officials and candidates running for office.

Featured Research

Relaunch: Resilience and Rebuilding for Women Candidates After an Electoral Loss (2018)

Some women candidates may be hesitant to run again because they know that the barriers for women running for office are higher than they are for men - why should the standard after a loss be any different? This research shows that voters think women who have lost their elections are still qualified and likeable (two must-haves for women candidates), and that losing an election can be a good moment for a powerful launch of a woman candidate’s next campaign. It also points to concrete steps for women candidates to help set them up for a future run.

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