By Laurie Kretchmar

As we ramp up to recruit talented progressive women to run for office, we wondered if there was a correlation between the wage gap and women’s representation in state legislatures.

There is.Ratio to Leg grid

Look at AAUW’s new data on wage gaps by state and also examine statistics tracked by Rutgers’ Center for American Women and Politics on the number of women serving in state legislatures. As you can see from the chart, the gap tends to be smaller in states where the most women serve in the state capitol.

Women make a difference in policy and priorities, as research shows, yet no state in U.S. history has ever had 50 percent women serving in its legislature.

The average: 24 percent, up from about 5 percent 50 years ago when the Equal Pay Act was passed.

The most representative state today: Colorado with 41 percent women.

Here in California, we have 36 percent women in our congressional delegation, including, of course, two US Senators. Yet Sacramento has only 26 percent women, down from 30 percent 10 years ago.

Time to be like NASA, which just announced that its new class of astronauts has four men — and four women.

Let’s break some barriers in the Golden State!

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