Female politicians do not send electronic photos of their nether regions to strangers on the other side of the country. If they are picking up prostitutes, which they aren’t, they’re pretty discreet about it. And they aren’t as corrupt as men, so says a new paper to be published in an upcoming issue of Politics and Gender by Rice University’s Justin Esarey and Gina Chirillo.
Or at least that’s the case in democratic countries which stigmatize corruption. There isn’t much of a difference, the authors find, between the sexes when corruption is part of a norm. The authors say that this has something to with how the different genders perceive risk.
In Alaska, we knew this. There have only been a few scandals up here, and they have all been male dominated, save one former lawmaker, Bev Masek who traded her vote for $4,000.
In any case, this provides a great case for recruiting more female candidates into business and politics. In 2013 women held 98, or only about 18 percent of seats in the U.S. Congress. Across the country, women held about 24 percent of the seats in state Legislatures.
Alaska does a little better when it comes to gender equity in our state Legislature. Out of 60 legislators in Alaska, 17 or about 27 percent are women. Out of 14 total, there are five women in Gov. Sean Parnell’s cabinet.
But our private sector isn’t doing so well, at least if the make-up of boards is any indication. There are four major publicly traded companies based in Alaska with a total of 38 board members. Of these board members only seven are women, four of whom are on the board of First National Bank and three of whom are the chairman’s daughters.
Sen. Lesil McGuire is planning a conference, scheduled in October, about the economic status of women in Alaska and what can be done to raise the status of women in the state.
Contact Amanda Coyne at firstname.lastname@example.org