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Boston Chapter - Ambitious Women: Gender and Voter Perceptions of Candidate Ambition

Location: Harvard Graduate School of Education, Larsen Hall 203

Doors will open at 6:00 pm, with refreshments, for informal networking

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Are ambitious women punished in politics? Building on literature from negotiation, Dr. Sparsha Saha, Preceptor in the Harvard College Writing Programspecializing in gender and politics, will show that women candidates who are perceived to be ambitious are more likely to face social backlash, and that this may be conditioned by respondent partisanship, political identity, and gender. In her talk, Sparsha will first explore what the term “ambitious" means to voters, developing and testing a new multi-dimensional concept of perceived ambition, from desire to run for higher office to scope of agenda. She will then reveal results from two experiments that test the link between these "ambitious" traits and voter support for candidates. Sparsha’s presentation will be following by interactive Q&A.