One big step forward for the Republican party, one big step backward for women leaders in politics. The graph here kind of says it all — we’re back to a Republican president and low, low numbers of women in cabinet leadership positions.
The Pew Research Center recently presented some of the longitudinal data on women’s growing roles in business and political leadership, and the full report is worth checking out.
Another thing you’ll notice on the graph: the percentage of women in cabinet positions under President Bill Clinton was higher both terms (31.8% for his first term and 40.9% for his second term) than the percentage of women in cabinet positions for Obama’s two terms (30.4% for his first term and 34.8% for his second term). Sigh. Returning to the Clinton dynasty is starting to look better all the time, particularly for women’s leadership.
In the good news department, women’s leadership on Fortune 500 Boards has been steadily creeping up, and now stands at 21%, which isn’t a great number, but it’s better than 1987 when the number stood at 2%. We have to take victories where we can get them.
Also, women governors took a huge hit this election cycle, going from 12% nationally down to 8%. Ouch.
Lesson learned: when in doubt about who to vote for in a Presidential election, vote Democrat for more gender equality in leadership.