Changes to How We Report Race and Ethnicity

CAWP Media Advisory

50th Years of CAWP

The Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) will no longer report an aggregate number of “women of color” in our data collections on candidates and officeholders and will instead provide disaggregated data for all women by race and ethnicity. This change is guided by our desire to move away from treatment of women as monolithic and challenge the centering of whiteness as a default racial/ethnic category. Providing information on women’s racial/ethnic self-identities offers users of our data the opportunity to see the rich diversity among them and make more detailed assessments about the status of women in elective office.

For practical purposes, this means that there is no longer a Woman of Color in Office fact sheet on our newly-redesigned website. Instead, at our new Women Officeholders by Race and Ethnicity fact sheet, we provide an overview of women officeholders who identify as Asian American/Pacific Islander, Black, Latina, Middle Eastern/North African, Native American/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian, white, and multiracial alone. This page also contains links to more detailed information about women in each of these respective categories. Women who identify as more than one race are included in each category with which they identify; for example, Vice President Kamala Harris is included in our data on Asian American/Pacific Islander women and Black women. Our information for race and ethnicity among candidates in election 2022, which is still being collected, will also follow a similar format.

A NOTE OF CAUTION. We understand that the aggregate number of women of color holding office is still a data point that is newsworthy and valuable to understand the historic trends in and current political representation of women in historically marginalized racial and ethnic groups. If you are looking to calculate and/or report those counts, please contact our data services manager, Chelsea Hill, or use our Women Elected Officials Database and sort the database for race/ethnicity and choose all categories except “white” and “unavailable.” We strongly caution against adding totals from each racial/ethnic group to arrive at the aggregate figure, as it will double count officeholders who identify as more than one race/ethnicity.

If you would like to learn more about our decision to rethink our reporting on race and ethnicity, and understand our data collection process, please read our Methodological Statement on Race and Ethnicity. Visit the fact sheets below for more information on women in each of the racial/ethnic groups we track, including historical context and key milestones.

Contact

Daniel De Simone: ddesimone@eagleton.rugters.edu; 760.703.0948