Cassandra Coleman has served for five years on Lithgow City Council, but the trailblazing politician still isn't sure why only 32 per cent of serving councillors in NSW are women.
"In a modern society, we should reflect the society that we live in," said Cr Coleman, who is also President of the Australian Local Government Women's Association in NSW.
"We should be at 50 per cent but we're not,and we've got a long way to go."
Cr Coleman believes barriers remain for women choosing to stand as candidates.
"A lot of women between the ages of 25 to 45 are raising families. They feel as though they don't have the time when you're raising two or three children and going to work as well. " she said.
"I think women are also put off with the 'argy bargy' of politics, especially when they see how women are treated, like Brittany Higgins.
"It takes a lot of grit to become a councillor and you've really got to have resilience and you've got to be resourceful and you've got to sometimes take the punches when you have to, and you've got to call them out too."
Cr Coleman says the onus should be on individual councils to encourage a variety of candidates to stand at election time.
On the mid north coast, Cr Peta Pinson said she has experienced her fair share of sexism and misogyny since being elected mayor of Port Macquarie-Hastings Council in July 2017.
But Cr Pinson said at the time of her election, she was incredibly proud to be the first female mayor of the region, though the role was not without its challenges.
"I find the role exhilarating. I couldn't imagine doing anything else at this stage of my life," Ms Pinson said.
"I find the sexism can be exhausting," she said.
"Misogynist behavior can occur and I find that a little bit exhausting and frustrating."
Ms Pinson said when she was first elected to the role she was taken aside by someone "she had to work with in a professional capacity".
I was told there was more to local government than lipstick and hairspray.
She said she was shocked by the comment but it was an indication of what was to come.
Mayor Pinson believes her gender is an asset.
"I bring to the role a different outlook to what a man brings," she added.
She tells young women to "be bold, be brave and be the best you can be".
"Don't limit yourself or allow others to limit you, the world is full of opportunities and you just need to seek them out."
But change could be slowly happening, according to Associate Professor of Anthropology at ANU, Tanya Jakimow, who is conducting research into women's representation at this year's local government elections.
She cites examples such as Cowra Shire Council, where there have been traditionally only one or two women on council at any one time.
In the 2021 election however, there will be eight female candidates in the running.
"What I'm sensing is there has been an increase in women standing for this particular election," she said.
"Women in politics has been in the news so much and women are starting to go, 'ok we need to be in that room'.
"Women's under representation is one element of local councils, and certainly they are under represented across NSW, but the group really under represented across NSW is women of colour," she said.
"It's not just about getting women onto the ballot paper and getting them in winnable positions, it's also about what's happening in terms of the grassroots."
Earlier this year, allegations arose that misogynistic bullying was alive and thriving unchecked at the Shoalhaven City Council on the NSW South Coast.
Four female councillors walked out of the council chambers after "derogatory" comments were directed towards councillors and Mayor Amanda Findley.
Cr Annette Alldrick said this was an ongoing issue in the chamber.
"The meeting had run the way it always does, with a particular male councillor making constant derogatory comments," said Cr Alldrick.
"By the end of it, we were so sick of it that we just left. I've walked out once before for similar reasons and by the grace of God I haven't walked out more times.
Cr Alldrick said she sometimes felt "threatened and very uncomfortable" by the behaviour.
"One councillor actually changed her seat to sit in a seat where she felt more comfortable away from a male councillor," Cr Alldrick said.
"They might say they can't help it if they've got a loud voice, but they need to recognise it's yelling and it's overbearing."
"I've got a 22-year-old daughter...I would hate to see her put off in the future if she decides that's what she wants to do, because it is actually a great position to make change in the community."