Women Leading: Gender balanced appointment and hiring rules
We imagine a democracy that moves past the old boys' club and embraces the value of diversity in party leadership. To achieve this, parties must commit to rules that ensure diverse appointments to executive cabinets, commissions and vacancies.
RepresentWomen is working with a team to advance the Rankin-Chisholm Rule. Among the top congressional staffer positions, women and people of color continue to be underrepresented. The Rankin-Chisholm Rule is a policy initiative designed to correct this systemic problem and increase racial and gender diversity in legislative offices, particularly in leadership roles.
The Rankin-Chisholm Rule
The Rankin-Chisholm Rule states: “The decision-maker for top staff positions in personal offices, on committees, and in caucus leadership offices should conduct an in-person interview with a slate of candidates from diverse perspectives and backgrounds on the basis of gender, race and other factors, including multiple women and people of color.”
The Rankin-Chisholm Rule is modeled after the Rooney Rule, which requires National Football League owners to interview at least one candidate of color for each head coach or general manager vacancy. The initiative is named after pioneering Congresswomen Jeannette Rankin and Shirley Chisholm.
Replacement Mandates and Gender Balanced Appointments
Elected officials have a profound power to increase the gender and racial diversity in leadership positions through gender balanced appointments and replacement mandates. Committing to diverse appointments to executive cabinets, commissions and vacancies is the fastest way to increase the diversity of our decision-making leaders.
Presidential and gubernatorial candidates should commit to naming gender balanced and diverse executive cabinets. Fifteen countries, including the United States have nominated gender balanced cabinets; many in a concerted effort to include women's voices at the leadership level.
As vacancies in elected and appointed positions occur, officials should commit to and uphold replacement mandates, taking gender diversity into consideration when making appointments to fill vacant positions.
The President's Cabinet
After the President and Vice President, members of the President's Cabinet constitute some of the most powerful leaders in the United States. But since Cabinet positions are appointed and not elected, it is up to the President to ensure that their Cabinet is diverse and representative. While 15 countries currently meet or exceed gender parity on their Executive Cabinets, the United States is still far from achieving this goal. Appointing a gender-balanced cabinet is one of the fastest ways that the United States can achieve greater gender-based representation.
After the governor, members of the governor's cabinet constitute some of the most powerful leaders at the state level in the United States. In nearly all states, the vast majority, if not all, of the cabinet members are appointed by the governor. In these states, the average state cabinet has a membership of less than 40% women. While 10 states currently meet or exceed gender parity on their cabinets, most states are still far from achieving this goal. Appointing a gender-balanced cabinet is one of the fastest ways that the states can achieve greater gender-based representation.
Go to our Resources page for more information, tools, and resources on gender balanced appointments and hiring rules.