The Role of Women Legislative Staff in the Texas Legislature
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Purpose: There is a considerable amount of research on women legislative staff (Tabakman, 2009). However, most of this research was done at the federal level, focusing on congressional staff. This research project fills the gap of research completed, and examines women legislative staff in the Texas Legislature. Texas is one of largest states in the United States, and its unique approach to the recession in regard to the economy and policy has made it one of the most attractive states to live in (Johnson & McNichol, 2012). Texas has achieved a lot of success on the policy front through the tireless work of its legislative staff. The purpose of this research project is to describe the role of women legislative staff in the Texas Legislature. Method: A web-based survey was used to collect data on the different types of roles held by female legislative staff in Texas. This survey was distributed to 218 female legislative staff members in the Texas Legislature. Findings: There are four roles of legislative staff: (1) Political Strategist, (2) Researcher, (3) Public Relations, and (4) Administrative. Although each of the roles distinctly differs from one another, the respondents found that that many different roles were extremely important. Although the 58 respondent surveys had varying results, there were many reoccurring concepts. (1) The political strategist role is key, (2) Social media services are not a prevalent role for women legislative staff (3) All respondent staff engaged in administrative work (4) Most women legislative staff members are white, and (5) Most of the respondents had earned at least a bachelor’s degree.