These liberals ruthlessly mocking Romney have missed two crucial points: “Binders full of women” actually exist across the economic, political and journalistic worlds, and they are a good thing for feminism. Some liberals, to their credit, understood this. In New York Magazine Ann Friedman wrote,
Boston journalist David Bernstein reports that while Romney did indeed find himself with a binder full of women’s names, it wasn’t something he requested. The binder was put together by MassGAP, a bipartisan group of women who joined forces in 2002 to push Romney’s incoming administration to hire more women. Did you catch that? The binder of women was assembled by women and pushed onto Romney’s desk, unsolicited. When we mock Romney’s reliance on it, we’re actually mocking a concerted strategy by an accomplished group of women to diversify their state government. Oops.A New York Daily News opinions editor, Josh Greenman, is familiar with “binders full of women” that help diversify gender imbalances on op-ed pages. Hiring managers in businesses and law firms also use informational binders, called “recruitment binders,” full of resumes to help staff their offices with diverse hires. “Binders full of women” are nothing new in the professional world, and while there may be a better way to phrase what the binders are, it does not detract from their existence.
These binders are assembled to help recruit talented and qualified women for positions that they might not otherwise be considered for. Often women’s careers are sidetracked, halted or put on pause during their childbearing years, as attention shifts from work to family. Romney’s efforts to expand his cabinet to include more women also kept in mind the needs of working mothers in order to make it possible for his staff to have a balanced work and family life. Romney made every effort not only to recruit talented females, but also to keep them on his staff.