Women Out To Win

Through generous funding from The Ascend Fund, Victory Institute produced a first-of-its-kind report, “The Decision to Run: Uncovering the Barriers and Motivators for LGBTQ Women Running for Office” to explore the barriers and motivators LGBTQ women experience when running for office.

One of the standout learnings was that LGBTQ women need more mentorship from elected officials who are also LGBTQ women. Representation continues to matter:

In regions where there was already LGBTQ representation, more LGBTQ women were likely to run and thought an LGBTQ woman was more likely to assume office. In areas where there was no LGBTQ representation, 83% of respondents were either very concerned or somewhat concerned that an LGBTQ person could not win a seat.

In a response to our research findings, we decided to take action to make sure we’re doing our part to support LGBTQ women as they pursue public leadership positions. The Women Out to Win Mentorship Program will provide LGBTQ women with supportive programming and mentorship from past and current LGBTQ women elected officials so that participants are equipped to face campaign challenges unique to women head-on.

Women Out to Win is an advanced campaign training that includes personalized coaching through mentorship and quarterly convenings to address challenges specific to women candidates, such as imposter syndrome, safety concerns, and fundraising.

Meet the 2021 Women Out to Win Cohort

Our first cohort of Women out to Win have all completed a Victory Institute Candidate & Campaign Training and have aspirations of holding a public leadership position. Learn more about each member of the cohort here.


As a first step to breaking down some of the barriers LGBTQ women face when running for office, we’re hosting quarterly convenings that cover the top challenges identified by women in our Decision to Run report.

Watch our first convening from July 21, 2021 that establishes the landscape of LGBTQ women running for office and discusses the experiences of LGBTQ women who hold elected office.


LGBTQ Victory Institute would like to give special thanks to our program supporters. Their philanthropy ensures that this program has the financial resources it needs to provide LGBTQ women with specialized support.

If you are interested in learning how you/your company can support the Women Out To Win program please contact Seth Schermer, Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer, at seth.schermer@victoryinstitute.org.