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Women of color are conspicuously absent from state boards

A man ascended a staircase in the halls of the Massachusetts State House on Aug. 1.Carlin Stiehl for The Boston Globe

Thank you to Shirley Leung for her column on the Eos Foundation’s findings of the gender and racial composition of our state’s 50 most prominent boards and commissions (“Women found to chair more than half of notable boards,” Business, Oct. 19). YW Boston is proud to be a leader in the effort to pass legislation that would require state boards and commissions to achieve gender and racial parity and in building the Parity on Board coalition in support of the bill. The efforts of women of color in particular are still too often discounted or ignored when it comes to appointments. This is where the rubber meets the road in terms of actual parity. The Eos Foundation’s most recent findings are crucial information for elected officials, legislators, and political appointing authorities.

Public boards and commissions have outsize impact on the direction of our policies and initiatives on education, health and human services, housing and economic development, labor and workforce development, public safety, and more. Without various viewpoints and voices to inform public leadership, we risk putting in place less effective policies. Engaging residents from all communities of our great state in the decisions affecting them is achievable.


Beth Chandler

President and CEO

YW Boston