Since the Barbara Lee Foundation opened 16 years ago, the number of women who have served as a state governor has nearly doubled. However, when you compare those 44 women with the 2,300 men who have served as governor, it’s clear there’s more work to do.

Recently, the Barbara Lee Foundation released its 20th-anniversary edition of "Keys to Elected Office: The Essential Guide for Women." From personal traits to actions and accountability to bouncing back from mistakes, the guide offers a new, modern look at what it takes for women to be elected to office.

Here are some of the key findings from the guide, according to the foundation’s website:

  • Women must establish their qualifications. Women must weave their experience and professional accomplishments into their narratives before sharing personal stories and background.

  • Women need to provide more evidence of expertise than menWays to do that include standing up for themselves during a debate, standing up for voters during a debate and fielding tough questions from reporters early in their campaigns.

  • Talk about family. Embracing family can reveal a positive, warm dimension to a candidate.

  • Female candidates still report being excluded from circles that include the wealthiest and best-connected donors.

  • Qualifications and likability are linked for female candidates; there are dual consequences when they make mistakes on the campaign trail.

  • Voters want to know that women can handle budgets, taxes and the economy — all issues generally deemed weaknesses for women.

  • Women should distance themselves from the negative when it comes to advertising. Research shows voters remember negative ads featuring female candidates more than those featuring men.

  • Women must understand the difference between strength and toughness. Strength is viewed as a character trait, while toughness is demonstrated through actions in the political arena.

  • Female candidates have an advantage when it comes to honesty and ethics. However, this can be dramatically reversed if a female candidate is dishonest or acts unethically.

  • Run again. Research shows voters are extremely open to the idea of a woman who lost an election running again.
See the full guide online.