Know a woman with a big mouth and thick skin? Politics could be for her - if she has a strong support network.
The Shoalhaven has a female mayor, a female state member and a female federal member.
Shoalhaven City Council has an almost even gender split, in stark contrast to Kiama Local Council in the north and Eurobodalla Shire Council in the south, which only have a couple of women councillors.
Although Councillors Joanna Gash, Nina Digiglio, Patricia White and Mayor Amanda Findley have different political affiliations, they all have one thing in common - an opinion, and the guts to voice it. Loudly.
The four women had different paths into the political arena, but all were heavily involved in community issues before they were encouraged to stand for local government.
"People told me I had a big mouth and I had to put up or shut up - so that's what I did," said Cr Gash, who spent five years on Wingecarribee Council, 17 years as a federal MP, served as Shoalhaven Mayor and remains as a councillor.
Mayor Findley also entered politics after being told to put her money where her mouth was.
She said historically the number of women on Shoalhaven City Council fluctuates dramatically.
"I think when there are periods of bad behaviour (from the men) women who are getting things done in their community wonder why on earth they should put their hand up for that," she said.
Cr Gash said she had seen female councillors leave due to the particular pressure placed on female councillors.
"Local government is totally different - I was never belittled in federal politics the way I have been here," she said.
The councillors believed the treatment they cop in the chamber is driven by men who are insecure about the increased presence of women in the political arena.
"They're kicking back because they can feel the power shift," Cr Digiglio said.
Cr White said while local government can be rewarding, it does require a thick skin.
She credits her previous career in corporate banking with giving her the skills to navigate men who don't appreciate women in the room.
"Things have been said to me in that chamber that cut through my heart," she said.
"With the way the men behave in the chamber, if you react, the reaction back is worse. So I let it go. It's not worth the reaction, and I don't think it benefits the community."
Although the women had different strategies for managing aggression and sexism they feel in the chamber, they agreed it was a big enough problem that it was necessary to have a plan.
Mayor Findley said one of the challenges is to balance calling out unacceptable behaviour without grandstanding.
"The apology you get is meaningless," she said.
"It's part of a performance. But people are watching.
"I don't want to feed into that performance, but at the same time I feel I need to show (the behaviour) is not acceptable."
Despite the short-term futility of her efforts, she hopes in the long term the culture of the chamber will change.
Cr Gash agreed. She said over the years she had learnt to react less often, but a line must be drawn.
"I will not sit by and watch people be ridiculed," she said.
"The four years I had [as mayor] were sometimes hell. I ended up stressed out and in hospital. I've overcome that, and I am determined we do not put people through it anymore.
"If they say that's politics, bullshit.
"It's useless, it's pointless, and it has to change."
They also suspect some of the debate in the chamber may be driven by habit, rather than idealism.
If the council meeting goes for more than two hours councillors get a break, with dinner supplied.
The women said items brought before the dinner break often attracted much more debate than items brought after dinner.
They are determined the culture of local politics needs to change.
They are enthusiastic about the contribution women can and should make to Australia's public life, and they don't want the next generation punished for sticking their necks out.
"We can't have them going into an environment where they will be attacked," Cr Digiglio, who mentors a group of young leaders, said.
"We can give them the tools to deal with it, but why should they have to?"
Cr Gash said women often undersell themselves and the skills they can bring to the table.
Like Cr Digiglio, she believes in women backing one another to build a better environment for future leaders.
The councillors also highlighted the importance of having a support network, whether it be their spouse, friends or political party.
Mayor Findley, Cr Gash and Cr White all have children who were often hurt by hearing public slurs against their mothers.
If their children, partners or friends weren't supportive of their political careers, it would be impossible to continue.
"You have to have someone you can vent with because otherwise, it keeps you awake at night," Cr White said.
Other strategies the councillors identified for attracting women to politics and keeping them there were youth development, affirmative action in political parties and women supporting other women.
"Women aren't better than men - but we need a balance," Cr Digiglio said.
So, if there's a woman in your life with a big mouth, thick skin and supportive community, who wants to make a difference, you know where to send her.