From the October 29 NYTimes Region section, campaign news, written by Elizabeth A. Harris:

A Female Force

It is not easy for women to penetrate New York State’s political world.

Women make up only 24 percent of the Legislature and just 17 percent of county lawmakers. Only one woman, Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, holds a statewide office — and she was appointed to her job.

And the staffs that work for lawmakers or for those seeking elected office tend to be heavily male as well. Which makes one particular race this campaign season intriguing.

In the campaign for State Senate in the 41st District, which includes Columbia County and parts of Dutchess County, the staffs of both candidates are overwhelmingly female.

The Democrat, Didi Barrett, a first-time candidate for office who works as a consultant for nonprofit organizations, has 17 campaign workers — all but 2 are female.

“I have a network of women in the political world,” said Ms. Barrett, who has been involved with national and statewide groups that back female candidates and candidates who support abortion rights. “I like working with women,” she said. But the makeup of her campaign team, she explained, “just kind of worked out that way.”