Romney claimed that when he became Governor of Massachusetts, that he, not knowing any competent women executives (that’s a story in its own right) that he wanted to add women to his cabinet so he had binders of women prepared and delivered to him.
What actually happened was that in 2002 — prior to the election, not even knowing yet whether it would be a Republican or Democratic administration — a bipartisan group of women in Massachusetts formed MassGAP to address the problem of few women in senior leadership positions in state government. There were more than 40 organizations involved with the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus (also bipartisan) as the lead sponsor.
They did the research and put together the binder full of women qualified for all the different cabinet positions, agency heads, and authorities and commissions. They presented this binder to Governor Romney when he was elected.
I have written about this before, in various contexts; tonight I’ve checked with several people directly involved in the MassGAP effort who confirm that this history as I’ve just presented it is correct — and that Romney’s claim tonight, that he asked for such a study, is false.
Further, the positions that he staffed with female executives were all in government agencies about which he didn’t care, or which he was actively trying to end, and as Romney’s administration continued in the state government, the percentage of women in executive positions declined from 30% before he took office to 27.6% when he left.
Consider this another open thread. On another note, as the evening wears on, there will be less stress on the server and site performance will return to normal. I think over all, we did very well. Kudos to DougJ and Mistermix for the live chat. I was approving comments as fast as I could read them, and others were as well and we just kept up. That live chat was the way to go.