Fast Facts Pennsylvania
Characteristics of Female Representatives in Harrisburg16
- In the Pennsylvania General Assembly, there are a total of 64 women.
- Of that 64, 52 are members of the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives; they make up 26% of the House.
- The State Senate has 50 members, 12 are women, putting the percentage of women in the State Senate at 24%.
- Women legislators make up 1/4 of the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
Pennsylvania Women in State Executive Positions19
Statewide Elective Executives (Total Positions: 5)
|Kathleen Kane (D)||Attorney General||2013-2016|
|Linda L. Kelly (R)||Attorney General||2011-2013|
|Robin Wiessmann (D)||State Treasurer||2007-2009|
|Catherine Baker Knoll (D)||Lieutenant Governor||2003-2008|
|Barbara H. Hafer (D) 1||State Treasurer||1997-2005|
|Barbara H. Hafer (R)||Auditor General||1989-1997|
|Catherine Baker Knoll (D)||State Treasurer||1989-1997|
|Grace M. Sloan (D)||State Treasurer||1961-1964;
|Grace M. Sloan (D)||Auditor General||1965-1969|
|Genevieve Blatt (D)||Secretary of Internal Affairs||1955-1967|
Women in Govenor's Executive Staff
|Yesenia Bane||Deputy Chief of Staff||2015-|
|Elena Cross||Deputy Chief of Staff||2015-|
|Sarah Galbally||Secretary of Policy and Planning||2015-|
|Andrea Mead||Chief of Staff to the First Lady||2015-|
|Sharon Minnich||Secretary of Adminstration||2015-|
|Betsy Phillips||Director of Scheduling||2015-|
|Denise J. Smyler||General Counsel||2015-|
Women Cabinet Officials
|Jessica Altman||Insurance Commissioner||2017-|
|Cindy Dunn||Secretary of Conservation and Natural Resources||2015-|
|Dr. Rachel Levine||Secretary of Health||2015-|
|Teresa D. Miller||Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services||2018-|
|Teresa Osborne||Secretary of Aging||2015-|
|Leslie Richards||Secretary of Transportation||2015-|
|Jennifer Smith||Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs||2018-|
|Robin Wiessmann||Secretary of Banking and Securities||2015-|
|Teresa D. Miller||Insurance Commissioner||2015-2018|
Pennsylvania Women Elected to U.S. Congress18
U.S. Congress (Total Seats: 2 U.S. Senators, 19 U.S. Representatives)
|Chrissy Houlahan (D)||U.S. Representative||2019-|
|Madeleine Dean (D)||U.S. Representative||2019-|
|Mary Scanlon (D)||U.S. Representative||2019-|
|Susan Wild (D)||U.S. Representative||2019-|
|Allyson Schwartz (D)||U.S. Representative||2005-2015|
|Kathy Dahlkemper (D)||U.S. Representative||2009-2011|
|Melissa Hart (R)||U.S. Representative||2001-2007|
|Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky (D)||U.S. Representative||1993-1995|
|Kathryn Elizabeth Granahan (D) 1||U.S. Representative||1956-1963|
|Vera Daerr Buchanan (D) 2||U.S. Representative||1951-1957|
|Veronica Grace Boland (D) 3||U.S. Representative||1941-1943|
- 1 Granahan concurrently won a special election to fill a vacancy caused by the death of her husband and a regular election.
- 2 Buchanan won a special election to fill a vacancy caused by the death of her husband; she was subsequently re-elected.
- 3 Boland won a special election to fill a vacancy caused by the death of her husband.
Historical Look at Women in the Pennsylvania State Legislature20
|2019||30||22||0||52 / 203||25.6||6||6||12 / 50||24.0|
|2017||22||21||0||43 / 203||21.2||3||5||8 / 50||16.0|
|2015||18||23||0||41 / 203||20.2||4||6||10 / 50||20.0|
|2013||16||21||0||37 / 203||18.2||6||3||9 / 50||18.0|
|2011||15||19||0||34 / 203||16.7||6||6||12 / 50||24.0|
|2009||11||18||0||29 / 203||14.3||5||6||11 / 50||22.0|
|2007||11||16||0||27 / 203||13.3||5||5||10 / 50||20.0|
|2005||10||16||0||26 / 203||12.8||5||4||9 / 50||18.0|
|2003||10||18||0||28 / 203||13.8||5||3||8 / 50||16.0|
|2001||13||17||0||30 / 203||14.8||5||3||8 / 50||16.0|
|1999||12||13||0||25 / 203||12.3||4||3||7 / 50||14.0|
|1997||12||13||0||25 / 203||12.3||3||3||6 / 50||12.0|
|1995||12||14||0||26 / 203||12.8||3||1||4 / 50||8.0|
|1993||14||10||0||24 / 203||11.8||3||1||4 / 50||8.0|
|1991||10||11||0||21 / 203||10.3||3||1||4 / 50||8.0|
|1989||7||8||0||15 / 203||7.4||2||0||2 / 50||4.0|
|1987||6||9||0||15 / 203||7.4||2||0||2 / 50||4.0|
|1985||3||8||0||11 / 203||5.4||2||0||2 / 50||4.0|
|1983||2||7||0||9 / 203||4.4||1||0||1 / 50||2.0|
|1981||1||9||0||10 / 203||4.9||1||0||1 / 50||2.0|
|1979||3||8||0||11 / 203||5.4||1||0||1 / 50||2.0|
|1977||7||3||0||10 / 203||4.9||1||0||1 / 50||2.0|
|1975||4||4||0||8 / 203||3.9||1||0||1 / 50||2.0|
|1973||3||3||0||6 / 203||3.0||1||0||1 / 50||2.0|
|1971||4||2||0||6 / 203||3.0||1||0||1 / 50||2.0|
|1969||3||3||0||6 / 203||3.0||1||0||1 / 50||2.0|
|1967||5||4||0||9 / 203||4.4||0||0||0 / 50||0.0|
|1965||7||6||0||13 / 203||6.4||0||0||0 / 50||0.0|
|1963||7||6||0||13 / 203||6.4||0||0||0 / 50||0.0|
|1961||6||5||0||11 / 203||5.4||0||0||0 / 50||0.0|
|1959||7||6||0||13 / 203||6.4||0||0||0 / 50||0.0|
|1957||6||6||0||12 / 203||5.9||0||0||0 / 50||0.0|
|1955||7||4||0||11 / 203||5.4||0||0||0 / 50||0.0|
|1953||4||1||0||5 / 203||2.5||0||0||0 / 50||0.0|
|1951||4||1||0||5 / 203||2.5||0||0||0 / 50||0.0|
|1949||3||1||0||4 / 203||2.0||0||0||0 / 50||0.0|
|1947||1||2||0||3 / 203||1.5||0||0||0 / 50||0.0|
|1945||3||1||0||4 / 203||2.0||0||0||0 / 50||0.0|
|1943||0||0||0||0 / 203||0.0||0||0||0 / 50||0.0|
|1941||0||0||0||0 / 203||0.0||0||0||0 / 50||0.0|
|1939||2||0||0||2 / 203||1.0||0||0||0 / 50||0.0|
|1937||2||0||0||2 / 203||1.0||0||0||0 / 50||0.0|
|1935||1||0||1||2 / 203||1.0||0||0||0 / 50||0.0|
|1933||1||1||1||3 / 203||1.5||0||0||0 / 50||0.0|
|1931||0||4||1||5 / 203||2.5||0||0||0 / 50||0.0|
|1929||0||5||0||5 / 203||2.5||0||0||0 / 50||0.0|
|1927||0||5||0||5 / 203||2.5||0||1||1 / 50||2.0|
|1925||0||6||0||6 / 203||3.0||0||1||1 / 50||2.0|
|1923||0||8||0||8 / 203||3.9||0||0||0 / 50||0.0|
Women in Pennsylvania Senate Leadership Positions21
|Judith L. Schwank (D)||Minority Appropriations Committee Vice Chair||2017-2020|
|Kim L. Ward (R)||Majority Appropriations Committee Vice Chair||2015-2020|
|Lisa M. Boscola (D)||Minority Policy Committee Chair||2011-2020|
|Jane C. Orie (R)||Majority Caucus Whip||2001-2011|
Women in Pennsylvania House of Representatives Leadership Positions22
|Donna Oberlander (R)||Majority Policy Committee Chair||2018-2020|
|Joanna E. McClinton (D)||Minority Caucus Chair||2018-2020|
|Marcy Toepel (R)||Majority Caucus Chair||2017-2020|
|Rosita C Youngblood (D)||Minority Caucus Secretary||2015-2020|
|Donna R. Oberlander (R)||Majority Caucus Secretary||2015-2018|
|Sandra J. Major (R)||Majority Caucus Chairman||2011-2016|
|Jennifer L. Mann (D)||Minority Caucus Secretary||2011-2012|
|Jennifer L. Mann (D)||Majority Caucus Secretary||2019-2010|
|Sandra Major (R)||Minority Caucus Chairman||2007-2010|
|Elinor Z. Taylor (R)||Majority Caucus Chairman||2003-2006|
|Elinor Z. Taylor (R)||Majority Caucus Secretary||1995-2004|
|Mae W. Kernaghan (R)||Minority Caucus Chairman||1969-1970|
|Mae W. Kernaghan (R)||Majority Caucus Chairman||1967-1968|
|Marian E. Markley (R)||Majority Caucus Secretary||1963-1966|
|Marion L. Munley (D)||Minority Caucus Secretary||1963-1964|
|Marian E. Markley (R)||Minority Caucus Secretary||1959-1962|
|Mary A. Varallo (D)||Majority Whip||1959-1960|
|Mary A. Varallo (D)||Minority Caucus Chairman||1957-1958|
Women Officers of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Women Officers of the Pennsylvania Senate
|Donetta D'Innocezo||Chief Clerk||2013-2020|
|Megan Martin||Secretary and Parliamentarian||2012-2020|
Women of Color17
- Charlotte Vandine Forten (1786-1886) and her family lobbied for the abolition of slavery by hosting anti-slavery gatherings, writing for publications, and encouraging elites to join the cause.
- March 28,1867: Caroline LeCount was illegally denied entrenance to ride a Philadelphia public streetcar. She obtained a copy of the legislation, and presented it to the magistrate. The streetcar conductor who denied her entrenance was arrested and fined $100, and LeCount secured Black's right to ride streetcars.
- 1912: Daisy E. Lampkin hosted women's rights tea in her home before joining the Negro Women's Equal Franchise Federation where she campaigned for women's right to vote. Later, she chaired the Allegheny County Negro Women's Republican League, served as vice-chair of the Negro Voters League of Pennsylvania, and vice chair of the Colored Voters Division of the Republican National Committee.
- 1930: Lampkin became the first field secretary for the NAACP, and is credited with increasing membership more than any other executive in the organization.
- 1914-1917: Ruth L. Bennett opened the Home for Negro Girls, for girls and women who recently arrived from the South during the Great Migration.
- March 1965: C. Delores Tucker (1927-2005), joined Martin Luther King Jr. in his march from Selma to Montgomery in Alabama. She helped found the National Political Congress of Black Women.
- 1971: Tucker became the first African American to serve as Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. She was also the first African American woman in the nation to be Secretary of State.
- 1920: The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania was established, a successor organization to the Pennsylvania Woman Suffrage Association. The LWV povides education to "increase the effectiveness of women voters and to further better government
- 1923, Pennsylvania State Council of Republican Women was founded
- 1927, Federation of Democratic Women was formed
- 1972, Governor Sapp created the Pennsylvania Commission for Women
- 1981, Pennsylvania Elected Women's Association was formed
- 1982, Pennsylvania Women's Campaign Fund was founded
- 1922: The first women were elected to the State House. All Republicans, they were: Sarah Gerturde MacKinney, Alice M. Bentley, Rosa S. DeYoung, Sarah McCunde Gallagher, Helen Grimes, Lillie H. Pitts, Martha G. Speiser, and Martha G. Thomas
- 1923-1928: Representative Alice M. Bentley served as Speaker Pro Tempore, the first woman to do so.
- 1932:The first women Democrat was elected to the State House: Anna M. Brancato.
- 1995: Sandra Schultz Newman was the first woman elected to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
- 2012: Kathleen Kane was elected as Attorney General, the first woman elected to this position.
- Early Republic
- 1984: An Act from Congress granted honorary United States citizenship to Hannah Callowhill Penn (1671-1726), wife of William Penn.
- 1985: Hannah Callowhill Penn and William Penn received honorary citizenship of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
- Anti Slavery
- 1833: Lucretia Mott, a Quaker preacher and teacher, helped form the American Anti-Slavery Society in Philadelphia. Later, she was president of the Female Anti-Slavery Society.
- 1848: Jane Grey Swisshelm launched The Saturday Visiter, an abolitionist and womens' rights paper. Her essays influenced the state legislature to grant married women the right to own property.
- 1868: Pennsylvania Women's Suffrage Association was founded in Philadelphia, a hotbed of feminist agitation.
- July 4, 1876: Susan B. Anthony read her famous "Declaration of Rights for Women" at the Washington statue in front of Independence Hall.8
- 1913: The General Assembly approved a women's suffrage amendment to the state Constitution.
- 1915: Male voters rejected the amendment by 55,000 votes.
- June 4, 1919: the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was approved by Congress.10
- June 14, 1919: Pennsylvania became the seventh state to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.11
- 1 Pennsylvania State Legislature, “Pennsylvania History”
- 2 Pennsylvania State Legislature
- 3 Pennsylvania State Legislature
- 4 Pennsylvania State Legislature
- 5 Pennsylvania State Legislature
- 6 Pennsylvania State Legislature
- 7 Pennsylvania State Legislature
- 8 Pennsylvania State Legislature
- 9 Pennsylvania State Legislature
- 10 Pennsylvania State Legislature
- 11 Pennsylvania State Legislature
- 12 Schmedlen, Jeanne Hearn. “History of Women in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives 1923-2008” Office of Speaker of the House Dennis M. O’Brien.
- 13 Schmedlen, Jeanne Hearn
- 14 Schmedlen, Jeanne Hearn
- 15 Schmedlen, Jeanne Hearn
- 16 Schmedlen, Jeanne Hearn
- 17 Patrick, Leslie “African American and Civil Rights in Pennsylvania” in Black History in Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Commonwealth
- 18 Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University, http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/index.php
- 19 Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University, http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/index.php
- 20 Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University, http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/index.php
- 21 Senate Historical Biographies Archive, Pennsylvania State Senate, http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/BiosHistory/index.cfm?body=S
- 21 House Historical Biographies Archive, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/BiosHistory/index.cfm?body=h