October 01, 2019
From the nation's leading source on all things women and politics.
CAWP Data: Women's Representation on New Jersey Boards and Commissions

CAWP recently released new data about women's representation on select state boards and commissions since Phil Murphy's ascent to the governorship. Prior to Governor Murphy's inauguration in January 2018, women held 18% of positions on select state boards and commissions; as of July 2019, that figure has increased to 27%. While a welcome change, much of this improvement derives from Governor Murphy's cabinet selection, due to cabinet members' inclusion on state boards and commissions. The administration has not, thus far, appointed women to public member positions on these state boards and commissions at or near parity levels.

Of the nearly 500 New Jersey state boards and commissions, CAWP analyzed the membership of 58 of those that are widely considered to be among the most powerful, with high levels of responsibility and requiring financial disclosure. Of the 563 positions on those select boards and commissions, 152 are currently held by women, 307 are held by men, and 104 remain vacant. When Governor Murphy assumed office, 103 of these positions were held by women, 371 by men, and 89 were vacant.

Much of this increase in women's representation is attributable to Governor Murphy's appointment of a woman-majority cabinet, a first in New Jersey history, as many state boards and commissions have seats reserved for cabinet members. Of the 119 new appointments made by the governor, 72 (61%) are held by women, while 47 (39%) are held by men. Of those 72 positions, however, 67 are held by women in the governor's cabinet. Of the 25 positions on select boards and commissions held by non-cabinet members so far appointed by Governor Murphy, only 5 (20%) are women, while 20 (80%) are men. The cabinet appointments mask the reality that few women have been appointed to the public member positions on these powerful boards and commissions. Governor Murphy has the opportunity to improve this weak spot on his record of women's appointments with the remaining 82 vacant positions on boards and commissions under his discretion.

For additional information, including a ranking of select state boards and commissions, see CAWP's press release on this data collection.
Melinda Gates in  Harvard Business Review :
Gender Equality is Within Our Reach
Melinda Gates has a new piece in Harvard Business Review about gender equality in American society, noting that, while workforce participation has neared parity, the gender wage gap persists. Gates recommends a three-pronged strategy for dismantling the gender gap in American working life: dismantling barriers to women's full participation, including challenging stereotypical representations, ending sexual harassment and discrimination, and providing support for balancing work and caregiving; fast-tracking advancement by creating new talent pipelines for priority sectors and then supporting that talent in their career advancement; and by amplifying external pressure from shareholders, consumers and employees. For the political world, Gates cites CAWP data to elaborate on the talent pipeline problem and how that inhibits women's political participation in much the same way it hampers women's advancement in the workforce.

Gates closes her piece with a direct appeal to the readership of Harvard Business Review: "I am committed to using the power and influence I have to promote gender equality around the world and expand the power and influence of women in the United States. And I know I'm not alone. Far from it...You are senior executives, entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors; bosses, board members, and shareholders; media audiences and voters; employees, consumers, and family members. Every single one of these positions affords you - affords us - an opportunity to recognize the failures of the system, name them, and contribute to changing them."

One Month until the 2019 Elections
Yes, the 2020 election cycle on everyone's minds right now, but 2019 has elections too, and they're also important! This year, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Virginia are holding elections, and all but Louisiana have already held their primaries in advance of the November 5th general election. Here's CAWP data on the women running for office in 2019:
  • Kentucky is holding elections for its statewide elected executive offices. Six women (5D; 1R) had filed to run for various statewide offices, and four advanced to the general election: 1 (1D) for lieutenant governor, 1 (1D) for secretary of state, 1 (1D) for state auditor, and 1 (1R) for state treasurer.
  • Louisiana is holding elections for its statewide elected executive offices as well as its state legislature. The state will hold a jungle-style primary on October 12th and any necessary run-offs on Election Day:
    • 2 (1D; 1R) women have filed to run for secretary of state.
    • 1 (1D) woman has filed to run for agricultural commissioner.
    • 68 (41D; 27R) women have filed for state legislature seats.
  • Mississippi is holding elections for its statewide elected executive offices as well as its state legislature. One woman (1D) filed to run for governor, and one woman (1D) filed to run for secretary of state, but both lost in the primary election. One woman (1D) advanced to the general election for state treasurer, and two women (1D; 1R) will compete in the general election for the attorney general seat. In addition:
    • 71 (46D; 24R; 1I) women filed to run for state legislature seats, and 44 (27D; 16R; 1I) women advanced to the general election. One primary race remains too close to call.
  • New Jersey is holding elections for its state legislature:  63 (41D; 22R) women filed, and 59 (38D; 21R) women advanced to the general election.
  • Virginia is holding elections for its state legislature: 103 (79D; 24R) women filed, and 85 (65D; 20R) women advanced to the general election.
Find more information about the women running for office this year at the 2019 Women Candidates for Statewide Elected Executive and State Legislative Office page on the CAWP website.
Democratic Debate IV: Rumpus in Columbus
The next Democratic debate will take place on Tuesday, October 15th in Columbus, Ohio and will include four of the remaining five women running for the presidency. The October debate,  hosted by CNN and The New York Times , will feature 12 candidates on one night, with the 10 September candidates (Biden, Booker, Buttigieg, Castro, Harris, Klobuchar, O'Rourke, Sanders, Warren, Yang) joined by Tulsi Gabbard and Tom Steyer. As always, follow along with our CAWP live-tweet of the debate with the hashtag #GenderLens2020 ; the CAWP crew will be joined by some of our favorite scholars and practitioners...you should join too.
With so much at stake, please consider a gift of $50 or $100 to help CAWP track and analyze women's political participation as candidates, officeholders, activists and voters.
New Ready to Run ®  Partner!
CAWP is thrilled to announce our newest Ready to Run ® National Network partner, the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota . Conducted through the university's innovation think tank, the SOLV initiative, Ready to Run® Minnesota will be headed by St. Thomas political science professor Angela High-Pippert. This will be CAWP's first Ready to Run® partnership in Minnesota, and we're excited to help bring our campaign training and political engagement model curriculum to a new audience. Learn more about Ready to Run® and becoming a network partner here .
Around the World and Also in New Jersey
The New York Times  profiles Lady Brenda Hale, the President of the British Supreme Court, who came to sudden prominence after a ruling that upended Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit maneuvering. Lady Hale, who is described as a legal reformer and a feminist, is the first woman to serve in the position, and when she became the country's first woman "law lord" in 2004, she chose a coat of arms with the motto "Omnia Feminae Aequissimae," which is Latin for "women are equal to everything." Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg addressed the United Nation's Climate Action Summit during this year's session of the U.N. General Assembly. September's global climate strikes, which Thunberg helped inspire and lead, were joined by millions of participants around the globe. You can read and watch her remarks here . In other climate march news, The Washington Post  reports on young women taking the lead on global climate actions, citing one survey that found at the Washington action "68% of organizers and 58% of participants identified as female." The article also discusses the shifting demographics within the environmental movement towards greater gender and racial diversity more generally. Back in New Jersey, Jean Sinzdak appeared on News 12 New Jersey's Power and Politics to discuss our data on women's representation on state boards and commissions, as well as our Ready to Run ®  campaign training.
Pelosi Power
Nancy Pelosi was featured in a Harper's Bazaar article examining her return to the House speakership and how she is leading the Democratic Party through an era of deeply divisive politics. The piece also takes a delightful detour into the viral stardom of a certain Pelosi Max Mara coat, before a discussion of the persistent ways that politics is unwelcoming to women, despite progress in the number of women in office and the way powerful women are viewed. For Fortune , Emma Hinchliffe compiles a list of the 25 most powerful women in Washington, and quotes CAWP Director Debbie Walsh for the segment on Pelosi: "She's a constant reminder that women are tough enough and strong enough to lead at the highest levels."

Shortly after these Pelosi pieces dropped, the Ukraine scandal led to Speaker Pelosi announcing the initiation of formal impeachment proceedings. Politico reports that her decision was spurred, in part, by changes in the caucus towards impeachment, and particularly conversations with a cohort of freshman representatives with military and intelligence backgrounds who made a call for impeachment in a Washington Post op-ed. This group of seven members of Congress represent moderate districts and include five newly elected women: Chrissy Houlahan, Elaine Luria, Mikie Sherrill, Elissa Slotkin, and Abigail Spanberger. CNN profiled these five members, looking at how they bonded as new representatives with similar professional backgrounds, while noting their conversion from impeachment skeptics to a public op-ed calling for proceedings has altered the political calculus within the Democratic caucus. BET and Essence, meanwhile, take issue with CNN framing them as leaders on impeachment when women of color like Maxine Waters and fellow freshman congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib have been calling for impeachment for some time. Politico has been running a series of profiles on New Jersey's own Mikie Sherrill, and they used the third entry in the series as an opportunity for a detailed and emotional interview with Rep. Sherrill about the behind-the-scenes process she went through, as a military veteran and member of Congress, in deciding to call for impeachment.
CAWP Calendar

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