Why do so few women hold elected office on local government bodies? The answer to this question encompasses a combination of barriers to running for office. The research discussed in this article involved two surveys conducted in Wisconsin. The findings indicate that in addition to systemic barriers, such as time away from work, many women are hesitant to serve on local governing bodies for other reasons, including concerns related to confidence and potentially inaccurate perceptions. This cautiousness was not as evident in male potential candidates. Understanding the barriers women face may inform how Extension educators work to address skewed compositions of local governing bodies as part of capacity-building efforts.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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