by Elaine May*
According to the denomination's most recent figures (2009), men hold 73% of the top staff
leadership positions in the U.S. annual conferences, women hold 27%.
"Top positions" in an annual conference include bishops, directors of connectional
ministries (DCM), district superintendents (DS) and treasurers. Women—who make up
more than 50% of total United Methodist membership in the United States—are least
represented as district superintendents (26% are women), while the highest number of women in top leadership
are treasurers and directors of connection ministry (33% in each category).