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Letter to the editor: Dalrymple should have appointed more women

Twice in the past few months Gov. Jack Dalrymple, R-N.D., has failed to follow state law when making appointments to commissions. State statute mandates that appointments should be gender balanced.

In September, Dalrymple’s appointments to the Outdoor Heritage Fund Advisory Board lacked women — only two of the 12 appointees were women. Again this week when announcing the newly-formed appointments to the Property Tax Task Force, only one woman was in the mix of the 14 appointees. There is no question that there are qualified and interested women available to serve on these committees.

The greatest loss is the missed opportunity for greater success. Research proves that a critical mass of women (defined as three or more) has a positive impact on the success of any board or commission. For example, a Catalyst study found that companies with three or more women on their boards outperformed those companies with no women board members. Evidence shows that introducing gender balance has been beneficial in the private and public sectors.

There is a wealth of talented, skilled and extraordinary women in North Dakota, and our political culture is denying women the benefit of their expertise.

(Stromme is executive director of the North Dakota Women’s Network, and Wurtz is a volunteer and founder of the North Dakota Women’s Network)