‘Binders Full of Women’: Romney’s Comment Sparks Its Own Debate

Laura Shin
Posted

The news this week was dominated by the presidential debate, which highlighted just how crucial female voters will be in this election.

One of the most talked-about comments of the debate was Mitt Romney’s answer to a question about gender pay equity, in which he described asking women’s groups for female candidates while Massachusetts governer and being brought “binders full of women,” which became an instant internet meme.

Despite the jokes, his answer, although it didn’t address the pay gap, raised other questions about the lack of women in senior positions and how to go about finding strong female candidates in the workplace.

Some lauded him for having worked with women’s groups while he was governor. (For the record, he did work with a woman’s organization to find more female candidates, but it reached out to him first, not the other way around.) Others derided him for saying that in the economy he plans to foster, employers will be “so anxious to get good workers they’re going to be anxious to hire women.” As a commentator in The Guardian said, “Subtext: so desperate, they’ll hire anyone. Even you, ladies.”

The debate itself was a feminist milestone, as it was the first presidential debate moderated in 20 years by a woman.

Economic news was mixed, with jobless claims up to their highest level in four months but new home-building levels are at a four-year high. Google stock dropped sharply Thursday afternoon when the company accidentally filed its earning report with the SEC several hours early. The tech giant reported a 20% decline in profit as expenses rose and advertising revenue fell.

This week, we explain just what that the work that earned the Nobel Prize in Economics this week has to do with everyday life—including an algorithm designed to predict who you’ll marry—and how a pledge by billionaires to give away half their wealth will affect everything from education to health to the environment.

The Nobel in Economics: How It’s Already Improved Our Lives

Think the work that won the Nobel Prize in Economics this week isn’t relevant to your life? Actually, it could have sped up your internet connection or prevented your plane from being delayed. And it can even predict who you’ll choose for your lifelong mate.

The Billionaire Pledge: Is There a Downside to Giving Away Oodles of Money?

In 2010, the Giving Pledge was announced, as billionaires pledged to give away 50% or more of their fortunes. Here’s how this generosity is changing the face of philanthropy—and why it could actually have a dark side.