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Report: Women make up 29% across all levels of Ohio government

Written on Feb 15, 2019

Women make up about 29% of Ohio’s elected officials across all levels of government, according to a report by the Matriots, a political action committee working to elect more women.

The organization, founded in May of 2017, commissioned and paid for the report to determine the baseline of women’s representation in government throughout Ohio.

The report collected the names of elected officials in county, city, township and village government; boards of education; and judicial positions, through the Ohio secretary of state’s office. When the individual’s gender wasn’t available, researchers used a statistical software program to estimate gender using the first name, with a 4% margin of error for each level of government.

Researchers relied on the Rutgers University Center for American Women and Politics to collect the names of women elected on the federal and state level. At this level, the genders of the female politicians were all confirmed, not estimated.

The data for local government was collected for 2016-17 term, and the 2017-18 term for the other levels of government.

The report showed that women elected officials were most well represented on school boards, at 36%. Women were most underrepresented on the federal level, with 17%.

Additional insights:

Women elected officials made up 33% of elected positions in village governments statewide, 29% of county government and 25% of city government

Women elected officials made up 31% of elected judicial positions statewide

Women elected officials made up 22% of elected positions in state government

“On the whole, these findings line up with analyses of other states,” said Barbara Palmer, Executive Director of the Baldwin Wallace Center for Women and Politics of Ohio. “Women tend to be more likely to be found at the local level and their numbers decline as we climb up the political hierarchy to the state-wide and federal level.”

Monroe and Portage counties had the best representation of women in office, with 40% of elected officials women. The county with the worst female representation in elected office was Mercer County, with 12%.

Cuyahoga County had 37%, Franklin 36% and Hamilton 38%.