Despite a growing body of literature examining the consequences of women’s inclusion among lobbyists, our understanding of the factors that lead to women’s initial emergence in the profession is limited. In this study, we propose that gender diversity among legislative targets incentivizes organized interests to hire women lobbyists, and thus helps to explain when and how women emerge as lobbyists. Using a comprehensive data set of registered lobbyist–client pairings from all American states in 1989 and 2011, we find that legislative diversity influences not only the number of lobby contracts held by women but also the number of former women legislators who become revolving-door lobbyists. This second finding further supports the argument that interests capitalize on the personal characteristics of lobbyists, specifically by hiring women to work in more diverse legislatures. Our findings have implications for women and politics, lobbying, and voice and political equality in the United States.
- state politics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science