Document Type

Article - On Campus Only

Publication Date



Objective. The gender transformation taking place at the local level is the least studied of the three levels within the federal system. As a result, the depth of our knowledge regarding gender influences in city government is much shallower than it should be. The purpose of this research is to fill this void with an eye toward uncovering how or whether gender influences city administration. Methods. Using multivariate analysis (logistic and OLS techniques), this research analyzes data derived from a national mail survey of women and men city managers. Results. While final results are mixed, analysis revealed that women managers were more likely than their male counterparts to focus on community relations and to include citizen input in decision-making practices. However, in several aspects of the role of city manager, the socializing influence of the city management profession appears to override any possible gender differences. Conclusions. In the end, we find that transferring expectations about women political leaders to positions in city management is fraught with complexity. Research and analysis of gender must take into account the political context of the environment being considered.

Recommended Citation

Fox, Richard L., and Robert A. Schuhmann. “Gender and the Role of the City Manager.” Social Science Quarterly, vol. 81, no. 2, 2000, pp. 604–621.