NCSL podcasts connect you with state legislatures, offering insights from legislative leaders and staff, astute political observers and public policy experts from across the nation. Download or stream our collection today.


Women, who make up a little more than 50 percent of the U.S. population, only hold about a quarter of the nation’s 7,383 state legislative seats. While it’s a dramatic increase from the 1970s, the percentage has been stagnant for several years.

Katie Ziegler, who directs the Women’s Legislative Network at the National Conference of State Legislatures, walks us through the numbers and provides a historic perspective. She notes that when women run, they tend to win, but convincing them to run for office tends to be much harder than it is for men.

South Dakota State Representative Kristin Conzet (R), who is leaving her term as the president of the Women’s Legislative Network, shares her personal decision of becoming a state legislator and her observations talking with legislators across the country.

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