Color by Numbers: Women in Gov’t

In today’s paper, I covered a conference celebrating women in business.

While the Kauffman Foundation reports women have made great strides since the ’50s – increasing their share of the workforce from 30 percent to 48 percent in 2010 – they still have a ways to go.

Here are some stats from the local government angle that didn’t make it into the article, but are interesting nonetheless, especially considering upcoming elections:

  • 348,861, or 57.5 percent, of voters in Shelby County are female (source: Shelby County Election Commission)
  • 8 women in TN are currently serving as state representative or senator in 2011
  • In Shelby County Government, including the suburbs, there are 8 women serving in public office
  • In Memphis City Government, there are 8 women serving.
  • In 2011, Amy Weirich was named the first woman in the history of Shelby County to be named 30th District Attorney General (source: League of Women Voters in Memphis/Shelby County)
  • In 2011, women serving in U.S. Congress total 93, or 17 percent; 76 in the House and 17 in the Senate
  • There are 44 women of color who have served in Congress since 1964, with 43 in the House. Currently, 26 women of color are serving (source:


  1. Eddie Settles says:

    Don’t you think the issue is not how many women are serving in government. Surely we are no longer in a position to believe quotas work. The real question to me is how many women who are employed by government are also legislators. Is that not an inherent ethical conflict? And the same goes for men employed by government who are also legislators. What about government employees who serve as primary executive officers? Isn’t a question of ethics, not what is lawful?