According to the Huffington Post, this foot in mouth feeling surrounding women’s issues is not entirely a new one for the Massachusetts governor.
In 1994, when Romney was running for a Massachusetts U.S. Senate seat, the Boston Globe asked him why there were so few minorities and women at Bain Capital. Ninety-five of the vice presidents at the firm were white and only nine were women. Romney’s response was that the private equity industry does not “attract many women and minorities.” His opponent, Senator Ted Kennedy, made the remark an issue in the campaign, and Romney lost women voters by more than two-to-one.
Romney also blamed the elite institutions of higher education such as Harvard School of Business where they found many of their employees. Those schools, he told the Globe, “graduate only a handful of minorities and women.”
In 1995, 28 percent of the graduating class from Harvard Business School were women and 14 percent were minorities. When Romney put together a team to head Bain, every member was white and male. The Republican insisted that he could not find “qualified” women and minorities.
Romney also said that Bain had no affirmative action program until after he left Bain, which was another reason why they had few minorities employed. But over a decade later, the photo album of their private equity team does not show a single African-American or Latino member.
“It’s shocking to me that after 25 years of experience at the very highest levels of corporate America, Mitt Romney needed our help [to find qualified women],” Jesse Mermell, one of the women who helped prepare the “binders full of women” told Huffington Post’s Jen Bendery on Wednesday.