Washington: Still a Boy’s Town
Women’s lib hasn’t made it through Washington yet. Micah Zenko at Foreign Policy magazine looked at the percentages of females holding leadership roles related to foreign policy and national security and found that women remain vastly underrepresented among our nation’s policymakers. Women held no more than 29 percent of the total directorial positions in the organizations discussed below. –ARK
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Micah Zenko at Foreign Policy:
… I looked at the gender breakdown at 10 prominent think tanks with a substantial foreign-policy focus. After crunching the numbers, which were culled from their publicly available rosters, I found that women constituted only 21 percent of the policy-related positions (154 of 723) and only 29 percent of the total leadership staff (250 of 874). The Center for Strategic and International Studies and Center for American Progress boasted the highest percentages of women in policy-related roles (28 percent), and the Stimson Center had the highest total percentage of women in all positions (50 percent).
A note on methodology: “Policy-related” positions are classified as leadership roles (directors, presidents, and fellows) within departments such as foreign policy and economic policy — the latter is included because many fellows contribute equally to domestic as well as international economic policy. “Total leadership staff” includes people in senior positions in non-policy roles such as human resources, development, and communications, which play an essential role in developing and implementing think tanks’ programs.
But the numbers aren’t just skewed against women in think tanks. This gender imbalance is consistent with percentages of women working in other foreign policy and national security-related professions. In the academy, data collected in 2006 found that, of the 13,000 political science professors in the United States, 26 percent were women — up from 19 percent in 1991. Only 23 percent of international relations professors are women, while among comparative politics specialists the figure was 29 percent.
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