At the start of the 118th Congress in 2023, there were 25 women serving in the U.S. Senate, just shy of the record 26 women senators sworn in on the first day of the previous Congress. (The count for the previous Congress includes Vice President Kamala Harris and former Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler. Both were sworn in on the first day and left the Senate shortly after.)
Of the 25 women senators:
The first-ever woman in the Senate was Rebecca Latimer Felton, D-Ga., who was appointed to the seat as a political maneuver in 1922 and served just one day. Nancy Kassebaum, R-Kan., who served in the Senate from 1978 to 1997, was the first woman senator who was elected for a full term without having a spousal connection to Congress.
- 16 are Democrats and nine are Republicans.
- 22 are White, two are Asian American and one is Hispanic. No Black women currently serve in the Senate, nor do any American Indian or Alaska Native women.
U.S. HouseOn the first day of the 118th Congress, 124 women were voting members in the House of Representatives, making up 28% of the chamber’s voting membership. In addition, four women serve as nonvoting delegates to Congress, representing American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Of the women voting representatives sworn in on the first day of the session:
- 91 are Democrats and 33 are Republicans.
- 26 are Black, 18 are Hispanic, seven are Asian American, two are Native American and one is multiracial.
Jeannette Rankin, R-Mont., was the first woman to be elected to Congress, taking office in 1917. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is the only woman to have served as speaker of the House. She was speaker from 2007 to 2011, served as the minority leader in the Republican-controlled House from 2011 to 2019 and was elected speaker again from 2019 to 2023.