The Gendered Political Environment: How Louisiana's Ethic's Board Childcare Debacle Exemplifies the Challenges of Politicking While Female

The Louisiana Ethics Board came under fire recently when it denied a female candidate the right to use campaign funds for childcare during campaign events. After initially denying the candidate’s request, the Board reversed their ruling on February 15. This panel will investigate how the Board’s decision will affect candidates in the future as well as the barriers that women still face in our state.


Summer Steib

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 Summer Steib is the Director of the LSU Women’s Center. In addition, she is the Immediate Past President for the Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault & the YWCA Greater Baton Rouge and chair of LSU’s Bias Incident Response team. Steib is an experienced presenter, trainer, and facilitator with expertise in women’s leadership, navigating micro & macro workplace aggressions, contemporary issues impacting women, and diversity. She is a facilitator with the Nation Coalition Building Institute, Start Smart Salary Negotiation, and the Victim-Offender Dialogue Program.





Dr. Nichole Bauer

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Dr. Nichole Bauer is an Assistant Professor of Political Communication in the Department of Political Science & the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University. Her research focuses on issues pertaining to women on the campaign trail and the reception by voters. In particular, she investigates how voters evaluate female candidates and how female candidates develop campaign strategies designed to mitigate the potential for gender bias.






Yigal Bander

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Yigal Bander is an attorney with the Baton Rouge law firm of Manasseh, Gill, Knipe & Belanger, P.L.C., where he practices in the areas of personal injury, criminal defense, professional disciplinary defense, and teachers’ rights. He also writes and consults on ethics, liens and subrogation claims. He earned a B.A. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an M.S.W. and J.D. from Louisiana State University, and is admitted to practice in New York and the District of Columbia as well as in Louisiana. Yigal is rated “AV Preeminent” by Martindale -Hubbell and “10” by AVVO. The ACLU has recognized Yigal as a “Defender of Civil Liberties”, and the LACDL has presented Yigal with its “10.1 Blackstone’s Order” award for protecting the constitutional rights of his criminal defendant client. Yigal currently serves on the Baton Rouge Executive Council of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.



Franz Borghardt



Franz Borghardt practices criminal defense and civil rights law in Louisiana federal, state and municipal courts. He is the owner of the Borghardt Law Firm. He is a graduate of the National Criminal Defense College and the Trial Lawyers College. Franz has served as an adjunct professor at the Paul M. Hebert LSU Law School and has co-taught a Criminal Litigation Practice course. He was selected as a Super Lawyers Rising Star and is AV rated through Martindale Hubbell. He was selected to the 2017 Class of the Baton Rouge Business Report’s Forty Under 40 and is a 2018 Honoree of Club Blue’s Great Futures Gala.





Senator Beth Mizell

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Senator Beth Mizell is the elected State Senator for District 12.   She is a mother, grandmother, businesswoman and cattle rancher who lives in Franklinton.  A lifelong resident of the Northshore, her background as a CASA and a business owner have been major influences.






Dr. Wendy Smooth

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Dr. Wendy G. Smooth is a noted scholar of intersectionality and American politics. She is one of the foremost voices writing on the experiences of women of color as law makers in political institutions and women of color issues in public policy. At The Ohio State University, she is Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer for the College of Arts and Sciences. Smooth’s research and writing also reflect significant expertise in legislative studies, institutions, state and local politics and public policy. Her research broadly focuses on what she terms “Inclusionary Politics.”