NOW to President Obama: Penny Pritzker Appointment is Good, But Still Not Good Enough; More Women Should be in the Cabinet

Statement of NOW President Terry O’Neill

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–May 2, 2013.  With President Obama’s appointment of Penny Pritzker to be Secretary of Commerce, his second-term roster of cabinet secretaries is nearly complete. NOW has done the math, and the numbers are good, but not great. The Obama cabinet is only about one-third women. With women making up 51% of the American population, President Obama’s cabinet should accurately reflect this and be one-half women.

NOW is particularly concerned that the main group of advisors who have the president’s ear not just on occasion, but three, four, five times a day, is still overwhelmingly male. Without a critical mass of women in his inner circle, the president is less likely to hear dissenting voices on urgent questions that disproportionately impact women more than any other group — such as chained CPI, a so-called grand bargain on the federal budget.

Last November, President Obama ran for re-election pursuing the women’s vote, and women decisively helped deliver him the White House, with 55% of women voting for the president. We now call on the president to listen to the voices that re-elected him and allow more women to have increased influence in his administration.