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Letter: Governor fails to appoint women to committees

Twice in the past few months, the governor has failed to follow state law when making appointments to commissions.

State statute mandates that appointments should be gender balanced. In September, Gov. Jack Dalrymple’s appointments to the Outdoor Heritage Fund lacked women in that 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 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, extraordinary women in North Dakota, and our political culture is denying us the benefit of their expertise.

Renee Stromme and Linda Wurtz,


North Dakota Women’s Network Board of Directors