Diversity declines in Governor LePage’s Cabinet

by Ramona du Houx - January 10th, 2011 · 

Governor LePage has now chosen his appointees to head seven of the 15 state departments—and, so far, none of them are women.

“These appointed leaders are the experts that oversee our education, workforce, transportation systems, and much more,” said Charlotte Warren, Associate Director of the Maine Women’s Lobby. “When it comes to meeting the needs of all of the people, it would be a mistake not to actively recruit for a diverse Cabinet and other appointed positions down the line.”

Last summer, staff of the Maine Women’s Lobby and Maine Women’s Policy Center assessed the top 420 board and commission appointments under Governor Baldacci’s Administration. Women made up 33% of these positions—including 45% of Cabinet posts.

“Female cabinet members and staff established expertise over a wide array of policy, including finance, housing, and labor,” said Sarah Standiford, Executive Director of the Maine Women’s Lobby. “The question now is who will occupy these leadership posts over the next four years? Unfortunately, judging from his first seven appointments, women are less likely to be represented in the new administration.”

“Not only does a healthy democracy require diversity in order to be truly representative, but solving the tough problems that Maine currently faces will require leadership, experience, wisdom, and drawing upon all of our resources,” said Warren. “Going forward, we urge Governor LePage to make a special effort to recruit and consider women at every level. He should do so in the interest of equality—and because ALL Maine people will benefit by policy decisions influenced by diverse voices. Ultimately, we hope to see a Cabinet that is more representative of the population it serves.”