Thesis title and description:
“How Gender Impacts High Net Worth Women’s Political Giving”
The last half-century has seen the economic status of women rise dramatically as more and more women enter the workforce and pursue careers. While gender inequality in the workplace remains an ongoing problem, women have benefitted from major changes that have occurred with regards to the economic status of women over just a couple of generations. With women’s economic status on the rise, then, how will the set of traditional women’s issues fare politically as women acquire greater wealth? Will these women apply their growing financial power for political power on gender-specific issues, such as abortion, childcare, sexual assault, and electing women? Using a mixed-methods design that combines interviews, a survey, and quantitative analysis of existing campaign contribution data, this thesis aims to explore how wealthy women conceive of gender in their political giving through a descriptive study of high net worth women active in politics. The heart of the research is a series of interviews with high net worth women from an ideologically, geographically, racially, and generationally diverse set of women who have acquired their wealth in a variety of ways as well as a group of fundraisers for organizations and candidates committed to gender-specific issues.