A report from the US indicates that, if elected, Hillary Clinton would enlarge the talent pool for her cabinet:
Recently, Hillary Clinton promised that, if elected, she will name women to half of her presidential cabinet posts. If that happens, Clinton would join a handful of other global leaders who have appointed equal numbers of men and women — including, most recently, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
An interesting twist that the authors describe is how Parliamentary systems may make it more difficult for female leaders to appoint women to cabinet:
Parliamentary systems seem to make it especially hard for female leaders. Research on advanced industrialized parliamentary democracies by O’Brien, Matthew Mendez, Jordan Carr Peterson and Jihyun Shin found that male-led, left-leaning governments actually appoint more women to cabinets than those with female prime ministers or female-led coalition parties. Why?
O’Brien and her colleagues argue that unlike presidents, female prime ministers and party leaders always face the possibility that they could be removed from their post. Female leaders may feel especially susceptible to male challengers — and try to cultivate their loyalty by appointing these men to cabinets. These women also need to be conscious of how their actions will be portrayed in the media and perceived by voters. Appointing too many women in high-profile posts may be interpreted not as progressive but as driven by favoritism or sullied by identity politics.
Of course, the parliamentary electoral system is also very effective in keeping women out of parliament in the first place.