Matriots Selects Woman-owned Business to Conduct Research on Women in Ohio Elected Office
In December 2018, The Matriots PAC released a new report detailing the current state of women in Ohio elected office. While research quantifying female representation at some of the higher levels of federal office previously existed, no comprehensive baseline data had been captured for the 17,616 Ohio elected offices across all levels of government. The Matriots selected Measurement Resources to conduct this research, which spanned school boards, village, city, county, state and federal offices, to provide a complete snapshot of all women in political office in Ohio.
“While considering potential partners to conduct this research, Measurement Resources’ Sheri Chaney Jones came to mind because of her work in the community as public policy vice president of NAWBO Columbus,” said Elissa Schneider, executive director, The Matriots PAC. “Not only did Measurement Resources have the expertise we needed, there was clear alignment between our organizations in terms of shared values and mission.”
Founded in 2017, The Matriots PAC is a statewide nonpartisan political action committee focused on electing more Ohio women to public office. Prior to this report, female representation in office had never been formally accounted for by the Ohio Secretary of State.
“Measurement Resources responded to our request with a thorough and thoughtful approach to conduct this research—the team went above and beyond to uncover what data already existed,” said Elissa. “And they were able to identify a tool that greatly reduced our time in determining the gender of elected officials throughout the state, with just a 4 percent margin of error for each level of government.”
According to the report, the data revealed that only 29 percent of all positions in Ohio are held by women, according to the 2016-2017 term for local government, and the 2017-2018 term for federal, state, county and judiciary. At 36 percent, the highest proportional representation of women in Ohio office today is at the school board level.
“This baseline data is now driving our overall strategy, and has allowed us to prioritize which elections we will concentrate on now, so that we can create the most impact possible, as quickly as possible,” said Elissa. “By having insights into the overall status of each county, we better focus our efforts by region as well.”
Currently, Ohio ranks 28th in the nation in terms of political participation by women, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. The lowest percentage of female representation are at the state (21 percent) and federal (16 percent) levels.
“As a result of Measurement Resources’ research, The Matriots is now taking a data-driven approach to achieving our strategic priorities,” said Elissa. “We are currently devoting our resources to endorse school board candidates for this coming election, as an important step towards realizing the organization’s overall goal of seeing proportional representation—50 percent of all political offices in Ohio—held by women by 2028.”
Learn how Measurement Resources can help your organization identify key baseline data to use as your launchpad for measuring and maximizing your social impact. Contact us today to schedule a call with one of our team members.