The Leadership Council for Women in National Security (LCWINS) is a group of national security professionals dedicated to increasing the leadership of women in national security. LCWINS calls on all 2020 presidential candidates to pledge that they will make gender parity a top priority for their national security appointments should they be elected President.
Research shows that diverse teams are stronger and more effective: they are more creative and innovative and more likely to avoid dangerous “groupthink.” Yet women, especially women of color, are woefully underrepresented in senior positions in national security and foreign policy.
This lack of gender parity is due not to a lack of exceptional female candidates but to a lack of intentional, committed leadership.
Gender diversity is both an issue of fundamental fairness and, critically, necessary to strengthen the performance of our national security institutions. We need bold leadership to address this imbalance. For these reasons, we call upon all 2020 candidates for President of the United States to make a public pledge that, if they become President, they will strive for gender parity in senior national security and foreign policy appointments.
We encourage the next President to nominate women to senior positions in national security that have never been filled by women before, and to ensure that women of color are well represented in senior ranks. The goal should be senior leadership teams that are as diverse as America itself.
This means: • Rigorous standards will be employed to ensure a diverse candidate pool for all senior positions;
• No senior positions will be filled until a genuinely diverse slate of candidates has been developed and considered;
• Hiring recommendations will be evaluated in part based on whether they will contribute to the creation of diverse leadership teams;
• Candidates will not be viewed less favorably as a result of breaks in employment or past periods of part-time work related to family responsibilities. Presidential campaigns can demonstrate their commitment to these ideals now by choosing senior advisors who reflect America’s diversity.
The Leadership Council for Women in National Security stands ready to work with campaigns and transition teams to develop effective recruiting, screening and hiring processes and identify highly qualified candidates for every national security position.
America is strongest when it draws on the talent of all its citizens.