In the history of the United States, no presidential Cabinet has ever matched the gender or racial makeup of the country. But America could soon see its most diverse Cabinet ever—with the first Native American Secretary of the Interior, first Latino Homeland Security chief, first openly gay Cabinet member, and many more.
In two departments—Treasury and Intelligence—there has never been a woman in charge…until now.
Earlier this month, President Biden tweeted out this photo proclaiming that the Biden-Harris Cabinet “looks like America.” Altogether, Biden has chosen 12 women for his Cabinet, the most ever.
That’s why I decided to celebrate this historic number of women (and women of color) with a series of profiles for Ms. Magazine that I called “Table for 12.”
What did I find? All of them come from hard working families, distinguished themselves in school, and chose public service early on in their careers.
We know from studies that women leaders are more likely to encourage participation and share power and information. Many have navigated leadership in ways that illuminate the special ways women lead.
HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge talked about the importance of mentoring young people of color and preparing them for the next job. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland is passionate about the need for the nation to include indigenous voices in conversations about climate change. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen‘s ability to connect economic theory to ordinary life is one of the defining characteristics of her career. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield became known for what she calls ‘Gumbo Diplomacy.” She often prepared the dish across the world for her foreign counterparts to break down barriers during diplomatic conversations.
I believe that with this Cabinet we will see what’s possible when all of us are at the table. It’s about time!
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InfluencHER: Looking Like America…and the World