Women serve as governors in only six states, making it one of the most underrepresented positions. Only 39 women have ever served as governor of a state, and 25 states have never had a woman governor. Seventy-five of the 312 elected statewide executive positions (24%) are currently filled by women.
Fifty-six percent of all women governors have been Democrats, but four of the six current female governors are Republican. Additionally, 56 percent of the current elected statewide executive women are Republican. This is inconsistent with the general trend that Republican women are especially underrepresented in elected office.
There are currently 33 Republican governors, which may be a reason for relatively high number of Republican women compared to Democratic women, as well as the low number of women overall. Since 2010, Republicans have taken control of gubernatorial elections. The low numbers of Republican women in office at every level of government suggests this Republican surge has not helped more women get elected governor.
Only two women of color have ever served as governor of a state, including Susana Martinez who is currently the governor of New Mexico. Only 2.2 percent of all elected statewide executive offices are filled by women of color.
Ranked choice voting would help to represent states more accurately and to dismantle the overwhelming incumbent advantage that puts women on an unequal playing field.
Some states have incorporated multi-member districts into their state legislatures, and Representation2020 believes every state should move in this direction. When districts are represented by more that one person, constituents are more likely to have representation for their divergent views, and elected officials are more likely to come from diverse backgrounds and have diverse views.
Here is the ranking of all U.S. states based on women's representation in their state legislature: