Apr 11, 2017

Inside Mitt Romney's "binders full of women"

The Boston Globe got its hands on Mitt Romney's infamous "binders full of women," which were the centerpiece of an awkward 2012 presidential debate moment when Romney tried to illustrate how he'd tried to hire more women for state positions when he was governor of Massachusetts.

Reality check: Looking back on the episode just five years later — particularly after the 2016 election and the Access Hollywood tape debacle — it's shocking to revisit how a candidate's positive, if awkward, response regarding workplace inclusivity became a crippling campaign gaffe.

  • The two binders, which weigh in at over 15 pounds and contain almost 200 resumes, were compiled by MassGAP, a coalition of women's groups in Massachusetts.
  • Romney's chief of staff confirmed that the binders were used throughout his tenure as governor and were ultimately successful at placing women in jobs throughout state government, as well as other boards and commissions.
  • "They drummed up what was an inelegant way to get at this pool of talent," one MassGAP worker summed it up to the Globe.
Go deeper