Candidates Commit to Importance of Appointing Women to Top State Government Positions
BOSTON, Mass. (September 18, 2006) –The Massachusetts Governor’s Appointment Project (MassGAP 2006), a bi-partisan coalition of women’s groups led by the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus, today announced that all six 2006 gubernatorial candidates have committed to working with the organization to appoint more women to top positions in state government. Democratic candidates Chris Gabrieli, Deval Patrick, and Attorney General Thomas Reilly; Republican candidate Lt. Governor Kerry Healey; Independent candidate Christy Mihos; and the Green-Rainbow party’s Grace Ross have all committed to work with MassGAP, if elected, to ensure that the number of women appointed to high-level state government positions better reflects the percentage of women in the Commonwealth.
When MassGAP was created in 2002, women held approximately 30 percent of the highest-level appointed positions in the Commonwealth, even though they compose 52 percent of the population. MassGAP was created to fill this void, and it worked closely with Governor Mitt Romney’s administration to improve the numbers. As a result, between January 2002 and July 2004, 42 percent of the new appointments made by Mr. Romney were women. The governor and others credited MassGAP with this achievement. However, according to an analysis of the 2002-2004 data by the UMass Boston Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy, the percentage of top-level women appointees in Massachusetts state government remains at approximately 31 percent, including new, holdover and non-gubernatorial appointments.
“While our 2002 efforts resulted in Massachusetts ranking first in the nation in the percentage of women holding top state positions, there is still work to be done,” said Liz Levin, chair of MassGAP 2006. “By increasing the number of women in these top positions, we can affect the priorities of government and provide more opportunities for women in all sectors. We will deliver a highly qualified pool of candidates to the new governor as we work to elevate the role of women in state government and, ultimately, eliminate women’s under-representation in important policy matters.”
“With just a day to go before the primary, this is one of the few important issues on which all of the candidates can agree,” said Mary Fifield, president of the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus. “Because all of the gubernatorial candidates have agreed to work with MassGAP, we are optimistic about the prospects for an increase in the number of women in key positions in the next administration.”
“Had it not been for the extraordinary effort that MassGAP put forth to make women in the private sector aware of these opportunities, I would not have been selected as the state’s first Chief Human Resources Officer…I applaud MassGAP for its efforts,” said Ruth Bramson, former director of human resources for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
MassGAP will begin accepting resumes on Wednesday, November 8, and will deliver a vetted book of applications from highly qualified candidates to the new administration. A kick-off MassGAP event will take place on September 25 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. at Bingham McCutchen, 150 Federal Street in Boston. Attendees must RSVP to [email protected] .
The Massachusetts Governor’s Appointments Project (MassGAP 2006) is a bi-partisan coalition of women’s groups whose purpose is to increase the number of women appointed by the 2006-2010 sitting governor to senior cabinet-level positions, agency heads, and selected authorities and commissions in the Commonwealth. The Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus (MWPC) is the Lead Sponsor of the collaboration. Further information is available at www.massgap.org. Starting November 8, candidates may apply online at this web site.