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Women’s Power Gap Progress Report Shows Women Now Chair 56% of the 50 Most Prominent Massachusetts Government Boards and Commissions

Despite welcome gains for women overall, progress for women of color lags behind

By Girl Power News , in News , at October 26, 2022

Newly released data by the Eos Foundation’s Women’s Power Gap Initiative shows that women now make up the majority (56%) of the chairs leading 50 of the state’s most prominent government boards and commissions.

The report, Diversity Among Massachusetts’ 50 Most Prominent Government Boards and Commissions, finds that from 2019 to 2022, the number of women chairs in this group rose from 17 (34%) to 28 (56%). Yet only four (8%) of the total board chairs are women of color.

The 2022 progress report, which includes data as of October 1, 2022, also revealed:

As part of the progress report, the Women’s Power Gap Initiative issued a set of recommendations and a call for the next governor to elevate the current director of appointments to a Secretary of Appointments. Following a model used by the State of California, the Secretary would have a small and experienced team of deputies with deep networks across the state charged with identifying and recruiting more diverse applicants. Another recommendation urges the next Administration to collect and disclose data reporting all categories by gender and race/ethnicity.

“In three years, we’ve seen great strides for women overall and believe the Administration has been intentional in recruiting and appointing women to these influential positions,” said Andrea Silbert, president of the Eos Foundation. “We now need to shift that intentionality to women and men of color, LGBTQ2+, trans women, veterans, and the disability communities. We urge the next Administration to build on our current success, accelerating diversity to better guide our state during these challenging times.

“While the work of these boards often takes place behind the scenes, they are enormously influential in crafting policy and practices of the state,” Silbert continued. “That is why it is essential that we have gender and racial parity and representation for all diverse communities on these powerful public boards and commissions.”

A broad coalition of advocacy organizations has endorsed the report recommendations, including Amplify Latinx, Asian Business Empowerment Council, Asian Community Fund, Black Economic Council of MA, The Boston Foundation, Boston Impact Initiative, Boston Women Leaders Network, Get Konnected!, Greater Boston Latino Network, Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion (IBA) Boston, Latino Equity Fund, Lawyers for Civil Rights, LGBT Chamber of Commerce, MassBudget, New Commonwealth Fund and YW Boston.

About the Women’s Power Gap Initiative at the Eos Foundation: Our mission is to close the women’s power gap by dramatically increasing the number and diversity of women chief executives across every sector of our economy. We collect and analyze publicly available data, rank companies on the proportion of women executives, and center women of color in our reports and advocacy.

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