Friday, May 3, 2013

Binders Full of Women

During one of the Presidential Debate Mitt Romney made his famous comment about having "Binders full of Women". This was to emphasize that he took seriously the issue of women being overlooked in executive positions and his attempt to tackle the issue.

What followed was an internet meme, comedians lampooning the quote and the media being very critical of the claim. What was missed from the story was this: "Binders Full of Women" is in fact excellent policy.

One of the most common complaints with hiring women and minorities is that the people doing the hiring simply don't see enough qualified applicants. "We'd hire more ____ (blacks, Latinos, women) if only we had more qualified applicants". Binders full of women eliminates this problem by having binders full of qualified applicants.

This of course doesn't eliminate covert discrimination where someone doesn't want to hire a minority or a woman. It doesn't eliminate subtle bias either where a person is unaware of their own bias in preferring someone of a specific gender or race. But "Binders Full of Women" does tackle one giant issue.

I'm not the only one that noticed that it is a good policy.

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