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How you can help increase the number and diversity of women running for office in Utah.

In celebration of Women’s History Month, the University of Utah’s Goff Strategic Leadership Center and the Hinckley Institute of Politics have partnered with the YWCA Utah in a competition designed to help students get involved in efforts to empower more women to participate in civic leadership at all levels.

Competing student teams will have two weeks to develop a strategic, creative plan to increase the number and diversity of women running for office in Utah. Teams will have the opportunity to ask questions of experts along the way and film their final presentations for review.

“When there is more diversity in our government, better and more equitable policies are passed,” said Morgan Lyon Cotti, Ph.D., associate director of the Hinckley Institute. “Women provide valuable perspective to the difficult challenges our society faces and proven time and again that they accelerate change on important issues.”

The top three finalists will then be invited to a viewing of their video, a Q&A session and final judging on March 26, 2021. All video presentations will also be shared with a YWCA Utah team to inform their strategy and increase the number and diversity of women running for office in the state.

Learn more and register here by March 14, 2021 to help create gender equity in Utah public office.

Team composition

  • Each team must have 3-5 members.
  • Participants can be any year, major and/or undergraduate/graduate status.
  • Diversity leads to more innovative ideas. As such, students are encouraged to consider multiple perspectives and identities including, but not limited to, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, academic major, and year in school when assembling your team. When registering your team, you will be asked how diverse identities and perspectives are represented on your team.
  • Each member of each team must participate fully.
  • At least one team member must attend the Ask the Experts event on Tuesday, March 16 at noon.
  • If selected as a finalist, teams will be invited to attend the final judging on March 26, 2021.

Presentation and finalist selection

  • Each team must submit a video (no longer than 12 minutes) outlining their final project. Videos can be filmed over Zoom or otherwise. In addition to the video, each team will submit a brief executive summary of their project (roughly one page). Deadline: March 23, 2021
  • Videos and executive summary will be reviewed by a committee. The top three teams will be selected as finalists.
  • March 26, 2021: The final three teams are invited to a showing of their video, Q&A, and final judging
  • 1st Prize: $750, 2nd Prize: $250, 3rd Prize: Grubhub Gift Cards (Prize money is per team.)


  • Friday, March 12, Noon | Registration Deadline, Details Released
  • Tuesday, March 16, Noon | Ask the Experts Event
  • Tuesday, March 23, Noon | Final Videos Due
  • Friday, March 26, Noon | Live Q&A, Winners Announced


  • Yándary Chatwin, Executive Director of Communications and Community Relations at Salt Lake City School District, Chair, Real Women Run
  • Morgan Lyon Cotti, Associate Director, Hinckley Institute of Politics
  • Shireen Ghorbani, Former Salt Lake County Councilwoman
  • Holly Richardson, Editor of Utah Policy Daily, Deseret News
  • Ruchi Watson, Managing Director, Goff Strategic Leadership Center