We exploit random assignment of gender quotas for leadership positions on Indian village councils to show that prior exposure to a female leader is associated with electoral gains for women. After ten years of quotas, women are more likely to stand for, and win, elected positions in councils required to have a female chief councilor in the previous two elections. We provide experimental and survey evidence on one channel of influence—changes in voter attitudes. Prior exposure to a female chief councilor improves perceptions of female leader effectiveness and weakens stereotypes about gender roles in the public and domestic spheres.
Beaman, Lori, Raghabendra Chattopadhyay, Esther Duflo, Rohini Pande, and Petia Topalova. "Powerful Women: Does Exposure Reduce Bias?" Quarterly Journal of Economics 124.4 (November 2009): 1497-1540.