Bainum, Hannemann spar
over hiring of women
Mayoral candidates Duke Bainum and Mufi Hannemann weighed in on how much of a role women would play in their administrations, if they are elected.
In a luncheon speech to the Professional Women's Network yesterday, Bainum pledged that 50 percent of high-level city positions, including those on boards and commission, would be filled by women.
"As mayor, I will have another opportunity to make sure that women are treated equally in the workplace of our city government," said Bainum, who added that as a city councilman and a state lawmaker, he had at least 50 percent women on his staff.
"There will be no glass ceiling for women in the Bainum administration," he said.
Bainum said there are female engineers, architects and financial experts who are qualified for top city posts.
"Not only is it the right thing to do, it's the best thing to do," Bainum said. "When there is equality among men and women in leadership positions, city government will do a better job of meeting the needs of all the people."
Hannemann said later in the day that his track record is clear when it comes to appointing women to top positions.
"I have always regarded women as co-leaders," Hannemann said.
Hannemann said that during his tenure on the City Council and as director of the state Department of Business and Economic Development, women were always "top lieutenants." He added that his campaign has women in 75 percent of executive positions and that he has hosted an all-female basketball tournament for 11 years.
Bainum said that currently in city government, 35 of the directors and deputy directors are men and seven are women, a ratio of 5-to-1. He also said that 150 of appointees to city boards and commissions are men, while 84 are women.
He said that is not meant to be a swipe at the current or previous administrations, but a statement of facts and a solution to a problem.
City spokeswoman Carol Costa responded: "Mayor (Jeremy) Harris has always strived to bring in an equal number of women directors and deputies, and during his 10 years in office here, he's had a long list of top women who have headed departments, such as Design and Construction, Budget and Fiscal Services, Planning and Permitting, and the corporation counsel's office."
Bainum also said his 50 percent pledge is not a quota, but Hannemann disagreed.
"I don't need to have a quota or a percentage to ensure my administration will have a certain number of women. I'd do it anyway," Hannemann said.