Engaging elected women, female candidates, and political consultants to speak throughout the semester is an extremely effective tool to help students transcend barriers to political leadership.

Source elected women leaders: Elected women are eager to speak with female college students about their career trajectories and paths to political leadership. Here’s how to best source them.

  • Do an online search of your local governing boards including local city councils, boards of supervisors, and school boards.
  • Make sure to invite an array of elected officials and candidates who are diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, age, and position.
  • Send a very brief email invitation to ask their participation on a specific date and time. Describe your class and what you hope to achieve.


Manage speakers: Some of your speakers will naturally convey their experience in a way that is compelling to students. Others may give a stump speech. Be explicit with speakers about what you want them to discuss: their personal story vis a vis the topic at hand in the syllabus.

  • Warn speakers remarks should be no more than 20 minutes and to leave time for Q & A.
  • Remind speakers of need to refrain from overtly partisan speech.
  • Remind students to be respectful of speakers who represent different parties or opinions than their own.