Helping Conservative Women Go For the Gold
The Olympics are a great model to use for young conservative women
2012 has been a turbulent year. The economic markets have been up, then down; unemployment remains high, and the nation’s debt continues to grow. As the London Olympics quickly approach, America has started to once again rally behind a story, an individual, and our team by equipping our athletes with the best facilities, coaches, and equipment money can buy.
Which is why, just as we invest in the athletes representing our country, we need to invest in our nation’s rising political talent. The young conservative women passionate about the future are an investment worth making, as they will too inevitably represent our country across the world.
The Palladian View works to spotlight issues and women, build the next generation, and give women a platform to see their voice. Recently, we've seen the need to not only support those women already in leadership, but also to create a platform for the next generation of leaders. As such, Palladian View has begun to focus on this new initiative: reaching out to young conservative women.
A recent blog post from the Harvard Business Review noted that “The US has convinced itself that it is ahead in the area of gender, when actually it has fallen behind in recent years.”
Sheryl Sandberg, recently named COO of Facebook, said a critical problem for women is that they “systematically underestimate their own abilities” in the workplace.
This problem, coupled with the what the next generation of women are facing—has led some young women to believe that the possibility of success is unrealistic and made even more hopeless from a lack of role models who have time to mentor these ladies. Look at the composition of our current legislature. While women compose 52% of the population, women only hold a mere 17% of the seats in the US Senate and House of Representatives. In a country that repeatedly boasts its efforts towards equality, the United States ranks behind 95 other countries in regards to the percentage of women in politics. In 2010, rather than advancing, the number of women in elected office declined for the ﬁrst time in 30 years.
To be clear, these statistics do not indicate apathy by women toward politics—56% of all voters are female—but rather it points to an absence of support and the lack of a network in an industry where such a system begets success; an infrastructure we as conservatives must now build for the next generation.
The Palladian View’s young conservative initiative, Her New View officially launched in Washington D.C. with a June 14th event titled "Politics Needs a Make-Over, a New Kind of Make-Over."
The event brought together a group of individuals from activists and journalists, to those on the Hill and at public relations ﬁrms who together discussed their struggles and potential resolutions to problems. The most common theme from the gathering was, unfortunately, of career isolation.
From having few mentors upon which to call upon for advice, to witnessing attacks on conservative women in the media, these young women were left them with a troubled outlook towards their future in politics. These upcoming leaders described the immediate need for women within the party to support one another against attacks in the media. We know these women are capable, we know the value they would add to our nation, but the price of exposing one’s family to public scrutiny is an incredible deterrent in considering public service. After listening to their concerns it was apparent steps needed to be taken in a different direction, a new direction, to boost conﬁdence in these aspiring young politicos. With these concerns in mind, Her New View is pleased to present an event catered to young women during the Republican National Convention aimed to do just that.
"Lashing Back at the Backlash: How the Media Exploits Conservatives" will be a panel discussion featuring powerful women in politics. Hearing the firsthand experiences of these women, seeing how they have persevered, and even thrived against the backlash will bring encouragement and hope to these future leaders. The event will be hosted at the Straz Performing Arts Center's TECO Theatre in Tampa Florida on August 26 from 5:00-6:30 p.m.
Palladian View believes we have an obligation to this next generation to build a platform and network which will let them see their voice in politics and realize their potential.
Margaret Thatcher once said "If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.” With the election of additional conservative women to Congress, perhaps the next election cycles will see less turbulence and our pockets, like our Olympic athletes, with a little more gold.
Lauren Luxenburg is a senior at the University of South Carolina majoring in Political Science. She is the Chairman of the USC College Republicans, interning at Palladian View as the Social Media Director.
Martha Susan Morris is a graduate of the University of South Carolina Honors College and is currently living and working in Washington, D.C.