Women in State Legislative Leadership 2022

Summary information on women in state legislatures

Data as of January 2022

Leadership positions include: senate presidents and presidents pro tempore; house speakers and speakers pro tempore; majority and minority leaders of the senate and house as listed on each state legislature’s website. When the position of senate president is filled by the lieutenant governor, it is not included in these totals.

State Legislative Leadership
88
(66D, 22R)
25.1% of 350 positions

Women hold leadership positions in 32 state senates and in 33 state houses; in 7 states, women do not hold leadership positions in either chamber.

State Senate
39
(31D, 8R)
24.1% of 162 positions
State House/Assembly
49
(35D, 14R)
26.1% of 188 positions
Women in State Legislative Leadership By Race and Ethnicity

Women who self-identify as more than one race/ethnicity are included on CAWP pages for each group with which they identify. We strongly caution against adding totals from each racial/ethnic group should, as it will double count officeholders. 

Of the 88 women currently in state legislative leadership:

  • 3 identify as Asian American/Pacific Islander
  • 13 identify as Black
  • 8 identify as Latina
  • 67 identify as white
States with the Highest Percentages of Women in Leadership Positions
  • Vermont (83.3%)
  • Alaska (50.0%)
  • Maryland (50.0%)
  • Maine (50.0%)
  • California (42.9%)
  • Nevada (42.9%)
  • New York (42.9%)
  • Washington (42.9%)

Of the top states for women leaders, MD, ME, NV, VT, and WA also rank in the top ten for the percentages of women serving in their legislatures.

Seven states have no women (0%) in leadership positions: AL, IN, MS, NE, SC, SD, TX.

Of the worst states for women leaders, AL, MS, and SC ranked among the ten states with the lowest percentages of women in their state legislatures.

Leadership by Chamber

Senate President
2
(1D, 1R)
8% of 25 positions
Senate President Pro Tempore
14
31.8% of 44 positions
Senate Majority Leader
12
(8D, 4R)
26.1% of 46 positions
Senate Minority Leader
11
(11D)
23.9% of 46 positions
State Position First Name Middle Name Last Name Party Race/Ethnicity First Year of Service
AZ Senate President Karen Fann R White 2019
MA Senate President Karen Spilka D White 2018
CA Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins D White 2018
CO Senate President Pro Tempore Kerry Donovan D White 2021
HI Senate President Pro Tempore Michelle N. Kidani D Asian American/Pacific Islander, Latina 2017
LA Senate President Pro Tempore Beth Mizell R White 2020
MD Senate President Pro Tempore Melony G. Griffith D Black 2020
NH Senate President Pro Tempore Sharon M. Carson R White 2021
NJ Senate President Pro Tempore Sandra Cunningham D Black 2022
NM Senate President Pro Tempore Mimi Stewart D White 2021
NY* Senate President Pro Tempore Andrea Stewart-Cousins D Black 2019
RI Senate President Pro Tempore Hanna M. Gallo D White 2021
VA Senate President Pro Tempore Louise Lucas D Black 2020
VT Senate President Pro Tempore Rebecca Balint D White 2021
WA Senate President Pro Tempore Karen Keiser D White 2018
WV Senate President Pro Tempore Donna J. Boley R White 2015
AK Senate Majority Leader Shelley Hughes R White 2021
FL Senate Majority Leader Debbie Mayfield R White 2021
IL Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford D Black 2019
MA Senate Majority Leader Cynthia Stone Creem D White 2018
MD Senate Majority Leader Nancy J. King D White 2020
ME Senate Majority Leader Eloise Vitelli D White 2021
NC Senate Majority Leader Kathy Harrington R White 2021
NJ Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Ruiz D Latina 2022
NV Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro D White 2019
NY* Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins D Black 2019
PA Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward R White 2021
VT Senate Majority Leader Alison Clarkson D White 2021
AZ Senate Minority Leader Rebecca Rios D Latina 2021
GA Senate Minority Leader Gloria Butler D Black 2021
ID Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett D White 2013
KS Senate Minority Leader Dinah Sykes D White 2021
MN Senate Minority Leader Melisa Lopez Franzen D Latina, White 2021
MT Senate Minority Leader Jill Cohenour D White 2021
ND Senate Minority Leader Joan Heckaman D White 2017
NH Senate Minority Leader Donna Soucy D White 2021
OK Senate Minority Leader Kay Floyd D White 2019
UT Senate Minority Leader Karen Mayne D White 2019
WI Senate Minority Leader Janet Bewley D White 2020

In 24 states, president pro tempore is the top leadership post held by a senator, the lieutenant governor serves as senate president (AL, AR, CA, CT, DE, GA, ID, IN, MI, MS, MO, NE, NV, NM, NY, NC, ND, OK, PA, SD, TX, VT, VA, WA.

*In New York, the Senate President also serves as the Senate Majority Leader.

Speaker of the House
5
(4D, 1R)
10% of 50 positions
House Speaker Pro Tempore
12
(8D, 4R)
25% of 48 positions
House Majority Leader
11
(9D, 2R)
24.4% of 45 positions
House Minority Leader
21
(14D, 7R)
45.7% of 46 positions
State Position First Name Middle Name Last Name Party Race/Ethnicity First Year of Service
AK House Speaker Louise Stutes R White 2021
MD House Speaker Adrienne Jones D Black 2019
MN House Speaker Melissa Hortman D White 2019
VT House Speaker Jill Krowiniski D White 2021
WA House Speaker Laurie Jinkins D White 2020
CO House Speaker Pro Tempore Adrienne Benavidez D Latina 2021
CT* House Speaker Pro Tempore Michelle Cook D White 2018
CT* House Speaker Pro Tempore Minnie Gonzalez D Latina 2021
CT* House Speaker Pro Tempore Mary Mushinsky D White 2020
GA House Speaker Pro Tempore Jan Slaughter Jones R White 2011
MA House Speaker Pro Tempore Kate Hogan D White 2021
MD House Speaker Pro Tempore Sheree L. Sample-Hughes D Black 2019
MI House Speaker Pro Tempore Pamela Hornberger R White 2021
MN House Speaker Pro Tempore Liz Olson D White 2019
NC House Speaker Pro Tempore Sarah Stevens R White 2017
NH House Speaker Pro Tempore Kimberly Rice R White 2021
WA House Speaker Pro Tempore Tina Orwall D White 2021
CA House Majority Leader Eloise Gomez Reyes D Latina 2021
CO House Majority Leader Daneya Esgar D White 2021
DE House Majority Leader Valerie J. Longhurst D White 2013
HI House Majority Leader Della Au Belatti D Asian American/Pacific Islander 2018
ME House Majority Leader Michelle Dunphy D White 2021
MT House Majority Leader Sue Vinton R White 2021
NV House Majority Leader Teresa Benitez-Thompson D Latina 2017
NY House Majority Leader Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes D Black 2019
OR House Majority Leader Julie Fahey D White 2022
VT House Majority Leader Emily Long D White 2021
WV House Majority Leader Amy Summers R White 2019
AK House Minority Leader Cathy Tilton R White 2021
AR House Minority Leader Tippi McCullough D White 2021
CA House Minority Leader Marie Waldron R White 2019
HI House Minority Leader Val Okimoto R Asian American/Pacific Islander, White 2021
IA House Minority Leader Jennifer Konfrst D White 2021
ID House Minority Leader Ilana Rubel D White 2020
KY House Minority Leader Joni L. Jenkins D White 2020
ME House Minority Leader Kathleen R.J. Dillingham R White 2019
MI House Minority Leader Donna Lasinkski D White 2021
MO House Minority Leader Crystal Quade D White 2019
MT House Minority Leader Kim Abbott D White 2021
NV House Minority Leader Robin Titus R White 2021
OH House Minority Leader Allison Russo D White 2022
OK House Minority Leader Emily Virgin D White 2019
OR House Minority Leader Vikki Breese-Iverson R White 2021
PA House Minority Leader Joanna E. McClinton D Black 2021
TN House Minority Leader Karen Camper D Black 2019
VA House Minority Leader Charniele Herring D Black 2022
VT House Minority Leader Patricia McCoy R White 2019
WI House Minority Leader Greta Neubauer D White 2022
WY House Minority Leader Catherine Connolly D White 2017

*In CT and MN there are multiple speakers pro tempore.

History of Leadership Positions

The first woman senate president was Vesta Roy (R-NH). The first woman to serve as speaker of a state house was Minnie Davenport Craig (R-ND).

State senator Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI) was the first woman of color and the first Asian Pacific Islander woman to lead either house of a state legislature; she served as Hawaii's Senate president from 2007-2011. Karen Bass (D-CA) was the first woman of color and first Black woman to serve as a House speaker, leading California's Assembly from 2008-2010. Crisanta Duran (D-CO) was the first Latina to serve as a House Speaker, serving from 2017 to 2019.  In 2013, Tina Kotek (D-OR) became the country's first openly lesbian state House speaker.

Women in State Legislative Leadership Summary by State
State Rank Total Women Leaders (%) Senate Majority Party Senate Women Leaders/All Leaders (%) House Majority Party House Women Leaders/All Leaders (%)
AK 2 3/6 (50.0%) R 1/3 (33.3%) R 2/3 (66.7%)
AL 44 0/7 (0.0%) R 0/3 (0.0%) R 0/4 (0.0%)
AR 34 1/7 (14.3%) R 0/3 (0.0%) R 1/4 (25.0%)
AZ 22 2/8 (25.0%) R 2/4 (50.0%) R 0/4 (0.0%)
CA 5 3/7 (42.9%) D 1/3 (33.3%) D 2/4 (50.0%)
CO 9 3/8 (37.5%) D 1/4 (25.0%) D 2/4 (50.0%)
CT 28 3/17 (17.6%) D 0/3 (0.0%) D 3/14 (21.4%)
DE 29 1/6 (16.7%) D 0/3 (0.0%) D 1/3 (33.3%)
FL 37 1/8 (12.5%) R 1/4 (25.0%) R 0/4 (0.0%)
GA 19 2/7 (28.6%) R 1/3 (33.3%) R 1/4 (25.0%)
HI 9 3/8 (37.5%) D 1/4 (25.0%) D 2/4 (50.0%)
IA 37 1/8 (12.5%) R 0/4 (0.0%) R 1/4 (25.0%)
ID 15 2/6 (33.3%) R 1/3 (33.3%) R 1/3 (33.3%)
IL 29 1/6 (16.7%) D 1/3 (33.3%) D 0/3 (0.0%)
IN 44 0/7 (0.0%) R 0/3 (0.0%) R 0/4 (0.0%)
KS 37 1/8 (12.5%) R 1/4 (25.0%) R 0/4 (0.0%)
KY 37 1/8 (12.5%) R 0/4 (0.0%) R 1/4 (25.0%)
LA 22 1/4 (25.0%) R 1/2 (50.0%) R 0/2 (0.0%)
MA 9 3/8 (37.5%) D 2/4 (50.0%) D 1/4 (25.0%)
MD 2 4/8 (50.0%) D 2/4 (50.0%) D 2/4 (50.0%)
ME 2 3/6 (50.0%) D 1/3 (33.3%) D 2/3 (66.7%)
MI 15 2/6 (33.3%) R 0/3 (0.0%) R 2/3 (66.7%)
MN 9 3/8 (37.5%) R 1/4 (25.0%) D 2/4 (50.0%)
MO 34 1/7 (14.3%) R 0/3 (0.0%) R 1/4 (25.0%)
MS 44 0/3 (0.0%) R 0/1 (0.0%) R 0/2 (0.0%)
MT 9 3/8 (37.5%) R 1/4 (25.0%) R 2/4 (50.0%)
NC 19 2/7 (28.6%) R 1/3 (33.3%) R 1/4 (25.0%)
ND 29 1/6 (16.7%) R 1/3 (33.3%) R 0/3 (0.0%)
NE 44 0/1 (0.0%) NP 0/1 (0.0%) N/A Unicameral
NH 9 3/8 (37.5%) D 2/4 (50.0%) R 1/4 (25.0%)
NJ 22 2/8 (25.0%) D 2/4 (50.0%) D 0/4 (0.0%)
NM 29 1/6 (16.7%) D 1/3 (33.3%) D 0/3 (0.0%)
NV 5 3/7 (42.9%) D 1/3 (33.3%) D 2/4 (50.0%)
NY 5 3/7 (42.9%) D 2/3 (66.7%) D 1/4 (25.0%)
OH 37 1/8 (12.5%) R 0/4 (0.0%) R 1/4 (25.0%)
OK 19 2/7 (28.6%) R 1/3 (33.3%) R 1/4 (25.0%)
OR 22 2/8 (25.0%) D 0/4 (0.0%) D 2/4 (50.0%)
PA 15 2/6 (33.3%) R 1/3 (33.3%) R 1/3 (33.3%)
RI 37 1/8 (12.5%) D 1/4 (25.0%) D 0/4 (0.0%)
SC 44 0/7 (0.0%) R 0/3 (0.0%) R 0/4 (0.0%)
SD 44 0/7 (0.0%) R 0/3 (0.0%) R 0/4 (0.0%)
TN 34 1/7 (14.3%) R 0/3 (0.0%) R 1/4 (25.0%)
TX 44 0/3 (0.0%) R 0/1 (0.0%) R 0/2 (0.0%)
UT 29 1/6 (16.7%) R 1/3 (33.3%) R 0/3 (0.0%)
VA 15 2/6 (33.3%) D 1/3 (33.3%) D 1/3 (33.3%)
VT 1 5/6 (83.3%) D 2/3 (66.7%) D 3/3 (100.0%)
WA 5 3/7 (42.9%) D 1/3 (33.3%) D 2/4 (50.0%)
WI 22 2/8 (25.0%) R 1/4 (25.0%) R 1/4 (25.0%)
WV 22 2/8 (25.0%) R 1/4 (25.0%) R 1/4 (25.0%)
WY 37 1/8 (12.5%) R 0/4 (0.0%) R 1/4 (25.0%)
Totals 88/350 (25.1%) 39/162 (24.1) 49/188 (26.1)

Rank is for leadership positions only and is based on combined senate and house figures. States with the exact same percentages are given the same rank; states with no women in leadership positions share the rank of 44.