"I went to my staff, and I said, 'How come all the people for these jobs are all men?" Romney said. "We took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet," Romney stated during October 16th Presidential Debate at
“It was an initiative of women’s organizations, not to force [Romney’s] hand, but to make it be something he had to follow through on,” Carol Hardy-Fanta, former co-chair of MassGAP’s higher education subcommittee, told The Huffington Post the morning following the debate. "He didn't go out looking for these binders.”
"It didn't really have anything to do with Romney asking women to give him names," said Carolyn Jones, who was secretary of the Massachusetts Womens' Political Caucus during the time that Romney was governor. MassGAP, which is non--partisan, issued a statement saying that while the Romney administration started with women comprising 42 percent of newly appointed positions, by 2006, that number had dropped to 25 percent. "So when the spotlight was on him, sure he paid some lip service. But when no one was looking, those levels plummeted to 25 percent, below where they were in the previous governor's administration," said Jesse Mermell, a Democratic selectwoman in Brookline, Mass., who was the executive director of the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus from 2004 to 2008. During that time the organization commissioned a report on women in government positions in the state.
"They told us ... that they were going to send [the binders] to us,” O’Brien recalled stated to HuffPost. “Whoever won was going to get this."
It appears Healey, not then Gov. Candidate Romney, assisted the campaign pledge to appoint Women in his administration. After Mitt Romney was elected, MassGAP presented colored-coded "binders" to highlight qualified applicants to Lt. Gov. Healey.
"We gave them names of people and there was a time that -- I think it was after they had the binder -- we set up a time to talk to them about the people in the binder," Levin recalled.
Less than two years Romney’s appointments of women to top-level positions began to tapered off in the last two years of his four year term 2004-2006, as the percentage of newly-appointed women to senior appointed positions in Gov. Romney's administration dropped to 25 a dismal percent.
The Romney Campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul
"The incoming Romney administration worked with MassGAP to find the best qualified women for top positions in Massachusetts government," said Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul.
It appears GOP Presidential Candidate Romney is still looking for the Massachusetts "binders full of Women" nearly twelve years later.
"The efforts resulted in Massachusetts having the most women in top positions in the entire country."