45@50: A Scorecard
Diversity Matters is dedicated to holding our representatives accountable for diversity, both in their own personnel practices and in their policy records. Plenty of ink has been spilled on the initial actions and appointments of our 45th President. We've just reached the 50-day mark in his tenure – halfway through the first 100 days in office. So here is the brief from Diversity Matters on the record for 45@50.
The Track Record on Hiring
Of 24 Cabinet-level positions:
Four are women
Nikki Haley, Ambassador to the United Nations
Elaine Chao, Department of Transportation
Betsy DeVos, Department of Education
Linda McMahon, Small Business Administration
One is African-American
Ben Carson, Housing and Urban Development
One is Latino
Alexander Acosta, Department of Labor (nominated, not yet confirmed)
Two are Asian-American
- Nikki Haley, Ambassador to the United Nations
- Elaine Chao, Department of Transportation
All the rest are white and male.
Some people may be inclined to suggest, as Sean Spicer has, that diversity isn’t just based on skin color, and generally speaking, we might agree. That said, so far we are looking at the least diverse executive branch since the Reagan years in terms of all areas of diversity (race/ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background). This is a problem. Research shows us groups, in business and government alike, are better at solving problems and developing creative solutions to challenges when diverse voices and experiences are at the table. If the administration's cabinet picks continue along these lines, it is very likely that policy and decision-making processes will be vulnerable to groupthink – a phenomenon where groups are susceptible to faulty decision-making in part because of the homogeneity of its members. The U.S. doesn't need a small, homogeneous group of public officials who don't reflect the vast diversity of experiences of the American people. While the administration would do better by adding different perspectives to their senior level positions, the likelihood of that happening seems slim.
Stay tuned as we keep an eye on the subcabinet nominees, but the early track record suggests the new President is not looking to reach too far outside his personal comfort zone or professional network.