Case studies of women in New Hampshire politics: an exploration of the barriers and supports for political candidates and incumbents

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DesRoches, Kathy L.
The intent of this study was to discover what could be learned from the experiences of the five women in elected political leadership roles in New Hampshire that would be instructive to other women interested in seeking public office and could be used to encourage and support more women candidates. Using a multiple case study approach, each woman was interviewed and books, newspapers accounts, and other electronic documents were used as supporting documentation. The results of the women's stories revealed that relationships and prior experience provide foundational support for women running for office. Relationships offer opportunities for recruitment, mentoring, and networking. Experience helps women to gain the skills, wisdom, and confidence to run for and succeed in office. While the women described fundraising and balancing their families and careers as challenging, they did not identify either of these or any other factor as a barrier in their journeys to public office in New Hampshire.