Women Underrepresented in Obama's Cabinet Nominations

Wednesday, 09 Jan 2013 10:04 AM

By Bill Hoffmann

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President Barack Obama’s recent Cabinet nominations have some worried that women are being underrepresented in the government’s top positions, The New York Times reports.

Many Democrats hoped Obama would tap former defense undersecretary Michèle Flournoy to head the Pentagon, and name White House aides Alyssa Mastromonaco or Nancy-Ann DeParle as Chief of Staff, according to the newspaper.

Obama’s proposed national security team is stacked with men: Sen. John Kerry nominated to succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of state; and John Brennan nominated as CIA director.

“It’s not so much about checking a box, like on a census form,” Democratic political consultant Tracy Sefl told the Times.

“It’s about the qualitative properties that the candidate takes to the position. In this case you’re talking about tremendous women, and then we get a whole bunch more white guys.”

One women’s leadership expert told the newspaper that women with young families tended to drop out of jobs with long hours more than men in the same position.

Policies like paid maternity and paternity leave could help keep more women in administration jobs, experts said.



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