Throughout United States history, men have dominated political institutions. Women have made consistent progress in political office at the state and federal levels and currently there are a record number of women serving in Congress, yet they are still underrepresented in the government. For my Seward Fellows Organizing Theme Minor in Gender and U.S. Politics, I am doing independent research on the experiences of women who have served in the House of Representatives and Senate across decades. The research project examines the influence of gender roles on a woman's congressional campaign and tenure in office, in the context of evolving gender dynamics in the U.S. My research compares and contrasts the experiences of congresswomen and analyzes the ways in which gender, race, ethnicity, party affiliation, socioeconomic status and other demographic factors influence their decision to run for office and legislative priorities. The presentation will identify women's motives to campaign and the challenges they encounter, as well as their legislative preferences and action while in office.