Amanda Hunter is the Executive Director of the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, an organization that promotes women in politics and contemporary art. We discuss what it takes for a woman to get elected and why it’s been such an uphill battle to reach the highest executive office.
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Women need to highlight their credentials early and often, particularly in economics. Voters do recognize that women understand kitchen table issues and that they mostly shoulder the emotional labor of a family. Effective campaigns use action-oriented language that illustrates how women are effective leaders in a crisis, will be accountable team leaders, and listen to experts and constituents. Finally, women who appear likable are more electable.
Voters expect women candidates to call out sexism. It’s a chance for a woman to show how she can stand up for herself and, in turn, for her constituents. Gender bias against women is common among both men and women. Confronting these biases—such as ending the double standard in what we perceive as required qualifications—will make it possible for more women to run for office.
Building a Pipeline of Women Candidates
Electing a woman to the White House requires building a pipeline of strong women candidates in public office nationwide. Writing grants and working with groups that promote women makes it possible for more women to win elections. When we see more and more powerful women in politics, gender stereotypes are less likely to be reinforced.
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Amanda Hunter leads the Barbara Lee Family Foundation’s nonpartisan efforts to advance women’s political equality and increase women’s representation. With extensive communications experience, Amanda brings her strategic insight to the Foundation’s work.
Prior to becoming Executive Director, Amanda was the Foundation’s Research and Communications Director. In this role, she was responsible for promoting the Barbara Lee Family Foundation’s mission to advance women’s representation in American politics by leading all research and communications efforts.
Previously, Amanda served as Director of Marketing and Communications at The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, America’s first museum of modern art, and as Senior Press Representative at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, leading media relations efforts on events like The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor and Kennedy Center Honors. She also served as Deputy Communications Director at the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the trade association for record companies.
You can follow her on Twitter @ahuntah.