Christine Cheng and Margit Tavits
Informal Influences in Selecting Female Political Candidates 
Political Research Quarterly June 2011 64: 460-471, first published on November 17, 2009 doi:10.1177/1065912909349631
The authors argue that the gender composition of party gatekeepers—those responsible for candidate recruitment— plays a crucial role in either encouraging or discouraging women candidates to run for office. Using an original data set that includes constituency-level information for all parties and candidates in the 2004 and 2006 Canadian national elections, the authors find support for this proposition. Women candidates are more likely to be nominated when the gatekeeper—the local party president—is a woman rather than a man. The results underline the importance of informal factors for understanding women’s political underrepresentation.
From the Vancouver Sun :
The key to getting more women into Canadian federal politics lies in getting more women into party executive positions, a new study suggests.
U.S. and U.K. researchers analyzed data from Canada's five major political parties during the 2004 and 2006 federal elections, and determined that presidents of parties' riding associations were more likely to field candidates of their own gender. Thus, female riding association presidents were more likely to recruit women, while male presidents were more likely to recruit men.
Ideology notwithstanding, a party's candidate is six per cent more likely to be a woman when the party's riding president is also a woman, suggests the study by Christine Cheung, a Canadian at the University of Oxford, and Margit Tavits of Missouri's Washington University, published this week in Political Research Quarterly.