Why Congress Needs Women
Bringing Sanity to the House and Senate
by Michele A. Paludi, Editor
January 2016, 209pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3271-0
$65, £50, 57€, A90
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3272-7
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Women leaders typically embrace a transformational leadership style, not a transactional style.

This book addresses women's civil strategies for negotiation and leadership through careful analysis of social science research and management theory as well as interviews with women legislators, documenting how women in Washington are affecting the development of the world at all levels.

In October 2013, after the war between Republican and Democratic men in Congress resulted in a government shutdown, Time magazine referred to the women legislators as “the only adults left in Washington.” In Why Congress Needs Women: Bringing Sanity to the House and Senate, editor Michele A. Paludi and various contributors explain how women in Washington have redefined leadership and power by embracing a transformational leadership style: a style that incorporates empowerment, ethics, nurturance, inclusiveness, and social justice, transcending their own self-interests for the good of the group—or, in the case of the shut-down, for the good of the nation.

A resource that will prove invaluable for anyone interested in politics and leadership as well as students taking courses in politics, women’s studies, gender studies, or management, the chapters provide an in-depth review of the ways women in Washington are striving to find lasting solutions to our nation’s challenges. The contributors document the mindset and methodologies women legislators are using to achieve their legislative goals and work toward creating gender-equitable environments in Washington’s well-established climate where bullying, harassment, and sexual exploitation is perceived as normative. Insights from interviews with women senators and congress members enhance the scholarship discussed in this book.


  • Addresses how women in Washington have redefined leadership and power in terms of how they listen, work collaboratively, negotiate, facilitate change, communicate effectively, and empower and mentor others
  • Identifies differences in the evidenced personal ethics between the genders in Congress that are reflective of their characters and professionalism—or lack thereof
  • Provides examples of the unusual bipartisanship and civility can be seen in the informal "sisterhood" that women senators and representatives have established that allows for more mature and cooperative relationships
Michele A. Paludi, PhD, directs the human resource management certificate program at Union Graduate College where she is on the faculty in the School of Management. She is the author or editor of 50 college textbooks and more than 200 scholarly articles and conference presentations on sexual harassment, campus violence, psychology of women, gender, and discrimination. Paludi is the editor of Praeger's Women's Psychology and Women and Careers in Management series. Her book, Ivory Power: Sexual Harassment on Campus received the 1992 Myers Center Award for Outstanding Book on Human Rights in the United States. She served as chair of the U.S. Department of Education's Subpanel on the Prevention of Violence, Sexual Harassment, and Alcohol and Other Drug Problems in Higher Education. She also was a consultant to and a member of former New York State Governor Mario Cuomo's Task Force on Sexual Harassment. Paludi serves as an expert witness for court proceedings and administrative hearings on sexual harassment and has had extensive experience in conducting training programs and investigations of sexual harassment and other Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) issues for businesses and educational institutions. In addition, she is in human resources and leadership at Excelsior College and has held faculty positions at Franklin & Marshall College, Kent State University, Hunter College, Union College, Hamilton College, and Union Graduate College.
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