On June 10, President Obama announced the appointment of Betsey Stevenson, economist and associate professor at the University of Michigan, to the Council of Economic Advisors. This is the not the first instance of the Obama Administration’s initiative for the progress of gender equality and women’s rights.
The concept of Obama’s White House Council on Women and Girls in 2009, in fact, has its roots in Nixon’s Task Force on Women’s Rights and Responsibilities. While President Obama and the White House Council on Women and Girls continue to fight pay discrimination, Barbara Hackman Franklin and the Task Force on Women’s Rights and Responsibilities—among other key women officials in the Nixon administration—sought to address and correct sex discrimination in all public and private sectors of the US.
It would not be until thirty years after President Nixon’s seminal appointment of Marina von Neumann Whitman that a president would appoint another woman to the Council of Economic Advisors.
Setting the precedent for future presidencies, President Nixon and his administration raised consciousness on discriminatory issues by successfully appointing over one hundred qualified women into high-level and mid-level positions.