Professor Jennifer Lawless is one of the best known and most widely published academic experts on the topic of gender and politics. While that’s impressive, she also has personal experience on the topic. As a young professor at Brown University, Jennifer challenged an incumbent Congressman and ran a competitive race for Congress. She lost the race, but credits that experience with both informing and “transforming” the way she has thought about her work ever since. Jennifer is currently a professor at the American University, but this fall will join the faculty of the University of Virginia. She is the author, and/or co-author of five significant books on the topic of gender and politics, and she has written extensively about political engagement by millennials. She is also the director of the Women in Politics Institute which she has grown into an important initiative that works to address some of the important themes coming out of her research.
Jennifer talks with She Said/She Said about her career, about perfection, about collaboration, and why it’s ok to cry. She also talks about the most common misconceptions that can prevent a woman from stepping up to run for office. She is authentic, informative and insightful and while she may have a personal political bias, she checks it at the door as it relates both to her research and to her passion for increasing the number of women in elected office from both sides of the political aisle.