There has never been a better time to be a woman looking to make a difference in the public sector than today. More doors are open to us than ever before, yet women are woefully underrepresented at nearly every level of elected office.
A recent study found only 40 percent of women feel they are qualified to serve as an elected official, while more than 60 percent of men consider themselves somewhat qualified to very qualified to serve in office. But the same study also found that when a woman or a man is asked to run for office, an equal 70 percent say they will consider putting their name on the ballot.
So we need to do a better job of asking, and then, when women say, "Yes," getting them over the finish line as winners.
The Republican State Leadership Committee's Right Women, Right Now initiative, of which I'm proud to serve a cochair, is leading the way. As part of the Future Majority Project to recruit, train, and support women and diverse Republican candidates for office, last cycle Right Women, Right Now identified 191 new Republican women candidates from 36 states. We spent more than $3 million to help elect 84 new Republican women to state office in the 2011-2012 cycle.
We are on our way to accomplishing our 2014 goals of identifying 300 female first-time candidates and electing at least half of them. Over the course of the past 10 months, we've made more than 30 state visits to cement our efforts on the ground. So far, Right Women, Right Now has identified at least 200 new women running for office as Republicans in at least 35 states, many of whom are women of diverse ethnic descent. We're proud that as we hit filing deadlines nationwide we are seeing record recruitment successes.