Date of Award
Sorority, Greek life, Leadership, Women in politics, Professional development, Empowerment, Skills
Adult and Continuing Education | American Politics | Higher Education
Since the founding of the first Greek organizations in colonial America, fraternities and sororities have aimed to provide communities of support and empowerment for their members. Research on outcomes of sorority participation has shown increased social skills, confidence in leadership, and professional networking and connections. Existing literature surrounding women’s underrepresentation in U.S. politics shows that to bridge the political gender gap, more women need to be encouraged to run for office and have prior political socialization and experience. To compare skills acquired from the sorority experience and preparation for political careers, this study conducts a survey of 274 current and alumnae members of National Panhellenic Conference organizations, asking participants to reflect on how their experience has helped equip them for leadership roles outside of the organization. The results of this survey found that this sample of women’s sorority experiences were consistent with what was found in literature and that their experience helped them acquire technical, social, and leadership skills. Results also demonstrate that sorority life is a successful source of support, empowerment, and professional development during one’s time in higher education.This study can be used to expand programming on values and skills for sorority members, establish the relevance of Greek organizations, and help women understand one way they can develop skills needed to hold public office.
Susemihl, Kelli L., "From Sisterhood to the Senate: The Sorority Experience and Preparing Women for Political Leadership" (2021). Honors Thesis. 152.