Joe Biden’s cabinet is supposed to make history. When all of his candidates are confirmed, 12 of the 24 offices he has identified as cabinet level will be held by women. And as the table below shows, this would break a record. Until now, most of the women who served in these positions at the same time were eight, first during the Bill Clinton administration and then again during the Barack Obama administration. In addition, women under Biden will for the first time fill three high-profile cabinet posts: Vice President, Finance Minister and Director of the National Intelligence Service.
Having an equal number of men and women in the cabinet is a rare achievement indeed. It would be the first gender cabinet in US history. And it is also rare worldwide. According to the Inter-parliamentary union and UN womenAs of January 1, 2020, only 14 countries had cabinets or cabinet equivalents in which at least half of the appointments were made by women. (The US would also be the largest of these countries by far.)
What did Trumpism cost the GOP and the nation? FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast
Biden’s cabinet is also poised to reach another notable milestone: a majority of its members are ignorant, and many will break down barriers by serving in their future roles. For example, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be the first black person and the first South Asian American to serve as Vice President. And Lloyd Austin would be the first black Secretary of Defense in American history, while Xavier Becerra and Alejandro Mayorkas would be the first Latinos to head the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security, respectively. In the meantime, Deb Haaland would be the first Indigenous person to head the Ministry of the Interior, which includes the Bureau of Indian Affairs and which is responsible for all public areas that were Indians Fight against the federal government to the Centuries. Business Advisory Council-designate Cecilia Rouse, the Office of Management and Budget Director-designate Neera Tanden, and U.S. Trade Representative-designate Katherine Tai would also be the first women of color in their respective roles. In total, Biden’s cabinet selection includes six blacks, four Latinos, three Asians, and one Native American.
[What We’ve Learned About The Biden Administration From His Staffing Choices So Far]
All of this is progress, but some obstacles remain unbroken. For example, the “interior cabinet” – the vice president, attorney general, and state, defense and treasury secretaries who are usually most closely associated with the president – will still be three-fifths white and three-fifths male. And the most diverse part of Biden’s cabinet will be the cabinet-level positions that are not part of the presidential succession (the lowest grouping of offices in the table). Just because women and people of color are equal in numbers to men and whites doesn’t mean they are equal in terms of influence. And even though Biden has appointed a historic number of women, they are still struggling to gain a foothold in stereotypical male cabinet positions. We have never had a Secretary of Defense, a Veteran’s Secretary or a Chief of Staff.