By Grace Austin
The latest findings show the government has yet to reflect the diversity of its constituents. The governmental workforce has made little progress in ensuring greater ethnic, racial, and gender diversity. Government leadership remains largely male (70 percent) and white (83 percent).
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Annual Report on the Federal Work Force Part II (based on 2010 findings) shows that Hispanics still make up a slim margin of governmental employees, male employees outnumber female employees, and that diversity gaps are prevalent at all levels of government.
The Center for American Progress’ 2011 Report, A Better, More Diverse Senior Executive Service in 2050, says “the federal government should strive to be more representative of the increasingly diverse society it serves, and it should do so by recruiting, hiring, and retaining the country’s best talent.” The report notes that despite the federal government status as America’s largest employer (employing 2.8 million), it lags behind organizations and corporations when it should be at the forefront of diverse hirings.
According to the EEOC report, Hispanics made up 7.9 percent of the federal workforce in 2010, and comprise just 3.6 percent of senior pay positions. Meanwhile, Hispanics are now America’s largest minority group.
Women were 44 percent of the federal workforce in 2010, (the number is roughly the same for civilians). As in corporate America, women fill less leadership positions, comprising only 30 percent of senior pay positions.
Disabled workers represent a slim margin of executive leaders and less than one percent of all federal employees.
CAP points out that the federal government “is not expected to close these gaps immediately.” Lack of education and an aging workforce are factors in the slow progress of diversity in the federal government. CAP goes on to say, though, that “in a country where people of color are projected to be a majority by 2042, the federal government should work to close large employment and leadership gaps over time—particularly among Hispanics.”
Just as in corporate America, the government’s main issue with hiring more diverse individuals is recruitment and retainment. Better data collection and analyzing of the data are other proposed steps in the process of hiring more diverse workers. In doing so, the federal government will become a better representation of the people they are serving.