By Shirley Leung
The good news first: Women now chair more than half of the 50 most prominent state boards and commissions, up from about a third in 2019, according to the latest study from the Eos Foundation.
The bad news: There is a lot more work to be done elevating people of color to lead those boards. According to Eos, no men of color serve as chair, while the number of women of color overseeing a state of Massachusetts board or commission can be counted on one hand — three Latinas and one Asian American.
To increase momentum on public board diversity, Eos, a nonprofit that tracks the power gap in Massachusetts, recommends the next governor create a new Cabinet role – a “secretary of appointments” with a staff that manages the recruitment of people to serve on the state’s more than 700 boards and commissions. It’s a position California has had for more than a decade as a way to drive a more transparent and inclusive appointment process.
Currently, Massachusetts has a boards and commission office that falls under the purview of the governor, who makes the majority of appointments.