Our column dives into the challenges women face when running for office and the groundbreaking solutions that The Ascend Fund and our partners are pioneering through innovation and collaboration.


November 5, 2021

2021 Election Analysis: Nominal Progress for Women

In 2020, all eyes were on the White House and Kamala Harris’ historic election as the first woman and woman of color to serve as vice president. In contrast, 2021 was an “off-year,” meaning there were only a few federal or state races which, typically take place in even numbered years.


October 19, 2021

Partners in Parity: How 13 Organizations in Michigan, Mississippi & Washington are Paving the Way

To rapidly accelerate the pace of change toward gender parity in state legislatures, pivotal policymaking bodies, The Ascend Fund is making targeted, transformational investments in 13 state and local organizations in Michigan, Mississippi, and Washington.


September 21, 2021

Elevating Latina Leadership this Hispanic Heritage Month

Latinas are deeply underrepresented at every level of elected office. Latina leadership, however, is transformational, when elected, Latinas are powerful changemakers, fighting for their communities.


August 17, 2021

Ten Podcasts That Elevate Women's Voices in Politics

Women in politics are making history across the country as they continue to break down barriers and increase representation in government. While there are now more women serving in office than ever before, we’re still far from true gender parity.


August 10, 2021

244 Years Later, Kathy Hochul to Become New York’s First Woman Governor

After two and a half centuries of men governors, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will become New York’s first woman governor when she is sworn in on August 24th, 2021.


July 7, 2021

Always the Lieutenant, Never the Governor

The representation of women in lieutenant governors offices and lack of women governors begs the question, why are we as a nation comfortable with women in second place, but not in command?


June 15, 2021

Path to Parity: Why We're Starting with the States

The Ascend Fund has a plan to close to the gender gap in state legislatures by 2050, not merely because it’s fair, but because it’s what’s smart.


June 15, 2021

Michigan - Parity Has Progressed

Propelled by the largest voter turnout in 50 years, women’s representation in the Michigan State Legislature skyrocketed from 25% to almost 36%, as a result of the 2018 election.


June 15, 2021

Mississippi - Parity Takes Persistence

Achieving gender parity in politics will take persistence in states like Mississippi. Mississippi consistently ranks in the bottom 10 states nationwide for women’s representation and women have never held more than 20% of the state legislative seats.


June 15, 2021

Washington - Parity Is Possible

For more than a decade, from 1993 to 2004, Washington ranked 1st in the nation for women’s representation in the state legislature. But progress faltered from a high of more than 40% in 2000 to just 32% in 2011.


June 9, 2021

Pride in Politics: Opportunities for Growing LGBTQ Representation During Pride and Beyond

This Pride Month, we’re celebrating progress made to date in addressing the underrepresentation of LGBTQ elected officials, while continuing to identify barriers to future growth.


May 18, 2021

For the Love of Democracy, Pay Attention to Women of Color

Women make up more than half of the population in the U.S., yet account for only about a quarter of Congress and just 31% of state legislators. To put it into perspective, if women were to be represented equitably, they would make up half of Congress and all state legislatures.


May 4, 2021

Vote for Mom

Moms are essential. As the pandemic ravaged the nation, mothers were forced out of the workforce as school transitioned online and childcare disappeared.


April 13, 2021

Cost of Success

Women candidates running for office in recent years have made headlines for outraising men. In 2018, women running for Congress raised an average of $1,675,000 while men raised $1,537,000.


March 23,2021

The Challenge for Challengers

Winning a contested election is never easy for women, but it is especially difficult when a woman is running as a challenger against an incumbent.


February 10, 2021

Full Time Job, Part Time Salary

How Legislative Pay Limits Who Can Serve in Office and Inhibits Reflective Democracy


January 25th, 2021

2020 Election Report – State Legislatures

In 2021, a historic 143 women will serve in Congress. Billions of dollars are spent each cycle to elect the 535 members of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House, federal elected officials receive a disproportionate amount of attention from voters and the media alike. However, there are far more state legislators – 7,383 – than members of Congress, and as Congress becomes more polarized and thus less productive, the role and influence of state legislatures is growing.


November 13, 2020

2020 Election Report – U.S. Congress

A record number 140 women will serve in the 117th Congress, breaking the record of 127 women set in 2019. This record brings us closer to gender parity,


November 7, 2020

Madam Vice President

In 2020, the United States ranked 53rd in the global gender parity index by the World Economic Forum. One key reason was the lack of women in political leadership in the U.S.


November 6, 2020

Initial Post-Election Analysis

While we continue to wait for results of the presidential election, we can celebrate women across the country, up and down the ballot, that made history and broke records.


November 2, 2020


Anyone who has ever taken a home pregnancy test knows, the three minutes you wait for the line(s) to appear feels like three hours. And no matter what result you’re hoping for, you experience a rollercoaster of emotions in those three minutes as you envision various versions of your future.


March 6, 2020

IWD2020: Celebrating Progress and Aggressively Pursuing Political Equality for Women

While International Women’s Day is supposed to be a global celebration of women’s social, economic, cultural, and political achievements, we don’t feel much like celebrating, if we’re being honest. We’re frustrated, to put it mildly, that a record breaking six women ran for president this year, but only one (Rep. Tulsi Gabbard) remains in the race – and with no viable path to becoming the nominee.


January 14, 2020

Accelerating the Pace of Change Toward Gender Equality

As the calendar rolls over to a new year, and an election year at that, we look back on recent accomplishments and look forward to celebrating important historic milestones. A record-breaking number of women ran for and won seats in Congress in 2018 causing pundits to term it the “year of the woman.”