FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (March 30, 2021)
The Leadership Council for Women in National Security (LCWINS) and Women Ambassadors Serving America (WASA) have joined together to request that the Biden administration’s commitment to gender parity take center stage when considering the appointment of national security leaders for the 106 vacant ambassadorships.
Nearly half of all ambassadorships -- 48.8 percent -- are unfilled. This is an opportunity for the Biden administration to publicly renew its commitment to gender parity -- where a man or a woman has an equal chance, at all times, of ascending to each ambassadorship.
“Ambassadors not only represent the U.S. government but serve as a reflection of our society, “ said Lindsay Rodman, Executive Director of LCWINS. “That is why it is imperative that these open leadership positions are filled taking gender parity into consideration.”
In this case, gender parity means looking at how men and women are distributed across diplomatic missions to address imbalances. No post should be viewed as gendered, internally to the U.S. government or externally to the world.
“As someone who served as an Ambassador I was often the only woman in the room,” said Amb. Piper Campbell, a co-chair of WASA. “It is time for the top tier of diplomats to mirror society. There is certainly a big enough pool of capable, talented and diverse women to fill these positions.”
The State Department under the leadership of Secretary Tony Blinken has made a public commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace -- one that looks more like America. The State Department has come under sharp criticism for its lack of diversity especially in its upper tier ranks.
LCWINS launched in June 2019 with a group of 100 bipartisan national security professionals dedicated to ensuring that women, in all their diversity, have equal space at the policy-making table. Study after study shows that including women at the top produces better outcomes.
All of this work builds on LCWINS’s 5050in2020 Initiative, which began in 2019, when the organization launched a pledge for presidential candidates to sign, committing them to strive for gender parity in their senior national security appointments should they win. The pledge was signed by then- candidate Joe Biden, among 17 others.
The Leadership Council for Women in National Security improves national security by ensuring that women, in all their diversity, have equal space at the policy-making table. LCWINS is an organization of women and allies from across the political spectrum working to advance gender inclusion at the highest levels of the U.S. national security and foreign policy workforce. LCWINS is fiscally sponsored by the Pacific Council on International Policy, a 501(c)(3).
For more information, contact: