Date of Award

Fall 12-14-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science

First Advisor

Sarah Allen-Gershon

Second Advisor

Amy Steigerwalt

Third Advisor

Toby Bolsen


This paper focuses on the relationship between the role model effect, and the motivation of women running for office. Many studies have suggested that the role model effect is associated with women entering political races, since women become more politically ambitious when more female candidates appear on the ballot. However, the extant literature tends to have a general focus on younger women and girls as opposed to other groups of women. Therefore, this paper examines the ways in which the role model effect is experienced by women already in the workforce. Five female participants from the researcher’s network, who occupy different professions in the workforce, were selected using the snowball sampling method to participate in in-depth interviews. These interviews were used to investigate if and how the role model effect influences women already in the workforce to enter the political arena.


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