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Leaving women out of Donald Trump’s Cabinet is not just wrong—IT’S DANGEROUS

When Justin Trudeau was elected prime minister of Canada and appointed a precedent-shattering 50:50 ratio of male and female appointees to his cabinet, his pithy comment was, “It’s 2015.”

Unfortunately, under a Trump administration, the U.S. is looking more like the 1970s. Fewer women are being considered by Trump for leadership positions than in any other administration since President Gerald Ford.

That’s not just politically incorrect—it will lead to poorer decision making. And given that Trump has said he plans to expand the U.S. military and take a harder-line approach towards adversaries such as ISIS, it’s also potentially dangerous.

Teams that include women are less over-confident, make less risky decisions, and are more focused on problem solving than ego concerns. Including women may well be most important in the security sector, for research shows that all-male groups are far more aggressive in experimental wargaming simulations.

During the campaign, Trump had pressed his progressive hiring practices, with pronouncements that Trump companies employed more women than men in executive positions—a claim some media organizations said was untrue. While Trump and his daughter Ivanka proudly proclaimed their hiring strategy for the new administration as one that selects “the most qualified” people for the job, media reports suggest he has almost no qualified women under consideration. This isn’t just politically incorrect. Its also bad for the country.

Although 43 percent of women voters—and 52 percent of white women—defied pollsters to help usher him into elected office, our president-elect’s inner circle is stunningly homogenous: virtually all white and male, including loyalists Newt Gingrich, Chris Christie, Steve Gannon Jeff Sessions and Rudy Giuliani. And names being bandied about Washington right now only reinforce the lack of diversity, with no women’s names even mentioned as remote possibilities for the what are typically considered to be the most important positions, such as Treasury and State.

The New York Times is reporting 48 serious candidates are being considered for top positions, but only 5 are women. Vox put together this shortlist of 47 individuals being considered for cabinet positions, based on the reporting of Vox, Politico and NBC. Of that 47, only eight are women, and only two men are people of color. A list of 13 economic advisers Trump issued in August this year are all white men.

If Trump’s cabinet is less than 10 percent women, as it is currently projected to be, that will be the lowest representation of women since the 1970s. Looking back at the last six administrations, Obama’s cabinet was 35 percent female, while George W. Bush’s was only 16 percent women. Roughly 20 percent of Bill Clinton’s cabinet members were women. George Bush senior, Reagan and Carter had less than a fifth women. Hillary Clinton had promised to make 50 percent of her cabinet female.

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[Photo: Michael Vadon]
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