SALT LAKE CITY (February 20, 2020) The Women’s Leadership Institute (WLI) recognized 44 women who completed its six-month bipartisan Political Development Series (PDS), many of whom are already running for public office.

This year’s cohort of future female politicians represents women who are talented and ready to make a difference. “These women are Utah’s future leaders,” said Patricia Jones, CEO of WLI, who served 14 years in the Utah Senate and House of Representatives. “We are seeing more women run for office and win. And Utah citizens all benefit with more women serving in public office because women bring a different set of experiences and skills that positively affect public policy.”

The program graduates were also recognized from the floor of the Utah Senate and Utah House of Representatives and awarded a certificate of completion from Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox. 

“Representation really does matter and these women graduating from the WLI Political Development Series today join us from several different Utah counties and are preparing to lead our great state,” said Lt. Gov. Cox. “I am impressed by their readiness to serve and their commitment to be the change. Utah is lucky to have these women who care so much for our future.” 

Since 2015, WLI has trained over 200 women to step up and run for political office in all levels of government, including women in the Utah Senate and Utah House of Representatives, two county commissioners, five mayors and multiple city council members all across Utah. Women enrolled in the PDS participate in a six-month series of classes, once a month, designed to train candidates in all aspects of a political campaign from building a campaign team to fundraising and public speaking.

“This Political Development Series was more than a training program,” said Wendy Davis, PDS participant and current candidate for Utah House District 45. 

“As I visit with voters in my community, the sessions on communications, presentation and persuasion have been particularly helpful references. I am more confident and now have a greater impact in my community.” 

Currently in Utah, 25 women serve in Utah’s 104-member Legislature — 24 percent. According to 2017 research by the Utah Women & Leadership Project, 24.1 percent of all council members in Utah municipalities are female. 

The next Political Development Series will open in September of 2020. Registration and additional information are available at

About the Women’s Leadership Institute

Founded in 2015 by key business leaders in Utah, the Women’s Leadership Institute’s mission is to elevate the stature of women’s leadership in Utah in both business and politics. Under the direction of CEO Patricia Jones, WLI works with over 200 companies and organizations through its ElevateHER Challenge to elevate women using six key areas of focus. In addition, WLI conducts a Political Development Series and Career Development Series each year to further elevate women in both politics and in business.