New Study Reveals Exactly How Long It Will Take Congress To Reach Gender Parity

By AnnaMarie Houlis for Fairygodboss

The 2018 midterm elections ensured that the House is now far closer to equality than it’s ever been before. 

A record number of women overall were running for office, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, and a record one-third of the candidates running for the House were women of color, according to Emily’s List, a Democratic-leaning nonprofit that supports women in politics. 

The result: Female candidates of all races, sexual identities and ages won in record numbers, making up the largest and most diverse class of congresswomen the country has ever seen. 

But the number of female politicians in the US legislature is still small compared to some other countries, and research shows that the US is almost a century away from achieving actual gender parity on Capitol Hill.

Women make up 50.8 percent of the approximately 325 million people counted in the US Census, but the research suggests that they’re nowhere near making up an equal share on Congress. Torsten Sløk, New York–based chief international economist with Deutsche Bank Securities, has been charting the recent spike in women seeking office. 

He found that the US will achieve gender equality in office in 2108, a vast improvement from former studies. 

According to Sløk, analyzing trends that date back to 1917 suggests that Congress won’t achieve gender equality until the year 2215. However, the recent spike in women has moved this number along. 

According to the World Economic Forum,  it will take 217 years for women to achieve parity in the workplace at our current pace.

However, women and organizations disrupting the status quo in a real way  — like what we witnessed in the groundbreaking 2018 election — can move this projection forward. 

And research suggests women will keep changing the status quo in American politics. More than four in 10 Americans personally hope a woman will be elected president in their lifetime, according to Pew Research Center. About six in 10 Americans (61 percent) say it’s a good thing that more women are running for U.S. Congress this year than in the past. 

Hopefully, more and more women will run (and win) in each election, so we won’t be waiting nearly as long for gender parity in politics.

AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreport and Facebook.
This article originally appeared on Fairygodboss. As the largest career community for women, Fairygodboss provides millions of women with career connections, community advice, and hard-to-find intel about how companies treat women.

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