During last night’s presidential debate, Republican nominee Mitt Romney referenced a University at Albany study that found his gubernatorial cabinet in Massachusetts to have more women than any state in the country.
Romney said this last night: “I was proud of the fact that after I staffed my cabinet and my senior staff that the University of New York in Albany did a survey of all 50 states and concluded that mine had more women in senior leadership positions than any other state in America.”
The survey Romney was referring to was published in 2004 by the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society, which is part of the State University of New York at Albany.
The report took a look at “appointed policy makers” each state had in 2003—Romney’s first year as Massachusetts governor. Fifty percent of policy leaders in Massachusetts were women, according to the report, one of five states that were close to having the same percentage of total women in the state. (In 2003, women represented 51.8 percent of Massachusetts’ population.)
The survey found Massachusetts had 20 department heads and top advisors to the governor—10 men and 10 women. Oregon was second with 47.8 percent, while New Hampshire was last with 15.2 percent.
UPDATE: Judith Saidel, the author of the study, pointed out to an Albany TV station that Romney was “imprecise” in referencing the statistic. While Massachusetts did rank first in terms of percentage, other larger states did have a greater number of female appointees.
The full report can be read below. Head to page 7 for the state-by-state rankings.
(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)