- Associated Press - Friday, September 18, 2015

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A new study shows that Idaho’s state-appointed boards and commissions are mostly made up of men, and the 30 percent of women appointees disproportionately serve in roles traditionally classified as “feminine,” such as those related to children and families.

The research provided by two Boise State University professors was presented at Boise’s Women and Leadership Conference earlier this month, The Spokesman-Review reported (http://bit.ly/1FRCcRJ). The study examined nearly 5,000 appointments in Idaho at the state, county and city level.

The report said that more than half of women appointments served on state boards with roles classified as “feminine.” Only 16 percent of women appointees served on boards with roles classified as “masculine,” which included commerce, finance and natural resources.

The study comes as Democratic Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb of Boise is drafting legislation to encourage gender equality in state board appointments.

“What we’re asking is that they (women) be considered,” Buckner-Webb said. “The goal is to get the best-qualified person for any position.”

According to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly half of all Idaho residents are female.

Buckner-Webb said state boards are “not reflective of what the demographics are in Idaho. We have some amazing, phenomenal women. We have women that are capable and competent and have much to offer in almost any endeavor you can imagine.”

Political science professor Jaclyn Kettler, who conducted the research with fellow BSU political scientist Justin Vaughn, said he does not know how Idaho compares to other states, “because there’s just not a lot of research on this, and the information is kind of hard to find.”

Kettler and Vaughn plan to continue working on their project to examine appointments in other states and track trends over time.

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Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com

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