Women are part of a powerful political force at the Colorado legislature

Number of women lawmakers sizable in Colorado

DENVER -- "In Colorado, we were the first parliamentary body in the world to elect women," Democratic state representative Faith Winter of Westminster during an interview with Denver7 on Thursday. "When people were settling the state, it didn't matter who built the fences and held the water."

Women are still leaders today.

Colorado is ranked four in the nation for women holding elected seats inside the State Capitol.

"It is good to see that the legislature is reflecting what we see in our counties in the state of Colorado,” said Republican state representative Susan Beckman of Arapahoe County.  

Both Winter and Beckman feel women are seeking office because of everyday concerns.

"Women who run, they're running on local issues often,” said Beckman.

"Often times when women are making the decision to run, they're making the decision because they're angry or frustrated, they want to make a change," said Winter.

While the women have some profound political differences, both share the need to mentor the next generation of leaders.

"It's a big job. It's not easy, and these are the paths you need to take," said Beckman, referring to her discussions mentoring women.

"Senate President Joan Fitzgerald was the first woman to tell me to run for office. She's the reason I'm here today," said Winter.

Winter feels the presence of women is an important part of the diversity needed for strong decision-making.

"When you have people at the table with different perspectives, and different backgrounds, you're going to get better solutions," said Winter.

"Your background and your knowledge and experience I think, adds a lot more to what we do in the legislature than gender. I have yet to see a vote where it's male/female. I mean, bow tie Friday is kind of for the guys, but it's more where really about where you're coming from," said Beckman.

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