Earlier this month, a woman broke a glass ceiling: President Donald Trump announced that he would name Gina Haspel, a career intelligence officer, the first female director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Yet Haspel is something of a rarity, an Atlantic #analysis of 2,475 Trump appointees shows. The White House has named twice as many men as women to administration positions. This gender skew is both broad and deep: In no department do female appointees outnumber male appointees, and in some cases men outnumber women four or five to one. Moreover, men significantly outnumber women in low-level positions as well as in high-level ones, with Trump’s Cabinet currently composed of 19 men and five women. Overall, 33 percent of Trump’s appointees are women, compared to 47 percent of the national workforce and 43 percent of the 2 million workers across the executive branch.
The Republican Party and Trump officials have touted the number of women named to top government posts. The president “has appointed more women to senior-level positions than previous administrations,” the GOP has argued. “He’s empowering ALL Americans with his winning agenda.” But the analysis—the biggest and broadest look at Trump appointments conducted thus far—shows that by some measures the White House has assembled the most preponderantly male team since the Reagan administration. Until Haspel, Trump also had not named as many women to top positions as his most recent predecessors, as the GOP has claimed.
“With appointed positions, there’s no excuse for an imbalance, because nothing is left to the voters, nothing is left to the media, nothing is left to potential candidates that have to decide whether to throw their hats into the ring and put themselves forward,” said Jennifer Lawless, the director of the Women & Politics Institute at American University. “Any administration that actually values gender parity can very easily assemble appointees that are roughly 50-50.”
The Trump administration has not, as the analysis, based on a pool of data on Trump appointees compiled and published by ProPublica, reveals. There are 75 different departments, boards, commissions, and agencies to which it has named staffers, from the massive Defense Department to the tiny Delta Regional Authority, and men made up half or more of appointments in 64 of them. In 22, all appointees were male, including at the National Labor Relations Board and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Men made up a majority of appointees in all Cabinet departments, with the skew particularly heavy in Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Labor, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs, where male appointees outnumbered women by as many as four to one. The dataset of names Trump has put forward since taking office includes nominees awaiting Senate confirmation, interim appointees, those who have departed, and those who have transferred departments.