White Males Well Represented in Ohio House Leadership

Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger recently announced the leaders for the House’s 21 standing committees. Female representatives will head just two.

houe_leaders
Leaders of the Ohio House of Representatives’ 21 Standing Committees for 2017-2018

The leaders of the committees have a substantial amount of agency when it comes to which bills are heard and voted on. It is important that these leaders represent the diversity of Ohio’s population, but have historically failed to do so.

Of the 42 committee Chair and Vice Chair positions in the current legislative cycle, just 19 percent are women. A startling 2 out of 21 committee chair positions—less than ten percent—are women.

Of the ten other House leadership positions, there are just four women compared to three for the 131st cycle. While this is a step in the right direction, women are still underrepresented in the state government (25 of 99 representatives are women) compared to Ohio’s general population—51 percent[1].

In the last session of the general assembly, there were 31 bills brought to the House on issues that affect women. It is important that women are well represented as leaders in legislative committees to support gender-equality in the legislature and across the state.

 

[1] http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045216/39