RNC Speakers: By the Numbers

Last Friday, we did a preliminary count of the Republican National Convention’s speakers by gender, finding that women were 32 percent of announced speakers. However, by our count, there were 111 speakers over the RNC’s four days, not counting invocations, benedictions, or narrative videos. Of those 111 speakers, 31 – or 28 percent – were women; 80 – or 72 percent – were men.

Eight of the 31 female speakers – or 26 percent – were currently elected women, and one more – Linda Lingle – is the former Governor of Hawaii. Elected officials were better represented among the men who spoke at the RNC; 34 of 80 male speakers – or 43 percent – are currently holding elected office. Three other men who spoke held previous elected office. This is not terribly surprising if you look at the gender disparities among Republican elected officeholders nationwide. Just 17 percent of Republican state legislators, 10 percent of Republican governors, and 9 percent of Republican members of Congress are women.

Gender disparities persist in how long men and women were at the convention podium. Of about 13.75 hours of speaking, just over 10 hours was occupied by male speakers at the RNC; women’s spoke for just under 3.5 hours – 24 percent of the total speaking time – across the convention’s four days. If Donald Trump and Mike Pence’s acceptance speeches – totaling one hour and 52 minutes – are removed from the calculations, men spoke about 72 percent of the time, matching their representation among speakers overall.

Stay tuned as we track gender differences in number of speakers and speaking time at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia next week.