VoteRunLead is a national non-profit, non-partisan organization leveraging technology and training to accelerate the number of women in civic and political leadership. At VoteRunLead, our goal is to strengthen and broaden civic engagement and democratic participation of women by solving three key problems keeping female representation stagnating at 20% for the past 20+ years: The low numbers of women with ambition for civic leadership, the lack of easily accessible, culturally relevant and female-specific resources, and the longstanding systemic barriers to women’s participation including resources, and voting systems, and elections structures.
With 80% male – and overwhelmingly white – elected leaders, VoteRunLead’s strategy of combining tech with training is upsetting deep-seated institutional norms of who is viable, how we recruit women to lead, and how we develop diverse leaders. We know that technology alone will not solve the problem of women’s representation; but we posit that our social network-based recruitment tool and an open online information platform, coupled with our training and growing community, are the components of permanent, large-scale impact. By distributing civic education information at scale, we demystify electoral politics for all women, regardless of their economic background or political connections. Our growing national community is the final piece of the puzzle: individual women will fuel one another’s leadership and serve as advocates for increasing transparency in government and democracy, as well as becoming donors themselves. The impact is not just women’s voices in governance, but women holding real power and decision-making over the resources and welfare of our communities.
VoteRunLead is excited to have joined forces with GEPLE, an EU Erasmus+ project focused on developing innovative strategies and learning programs for promoting and improving Gender Equality Political Leadership Education. Our aim is to exchange practices, methods, solutions, and ideas that will result in new skills, programs, approaches, and ICT tools to improve the effectiveness and quality of GEPLE in Europe, and VoteRunLead is proud to be the representative organization from the United States.