Federal Affirmative Employment:

Progress of Women and Minority Criminal Investigators at Selected Agencies

GGD-95-85: Published: Apr 25, 1995. Publicly Released: May 5, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the representation of women and minorities at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), and U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPS), focusing on: (1) whether improvement has been made in the representation of women and minorities in the criminal investigator occupation since 1982; (2) whether the career progression of women and minority criminal investigators is similar to that of white male criminal investigators; and (3) reasons for any different career progression patterns.

GAO found that between 1982 and 1992: (1) the percentage of female criminal investigators increased at all four agencies; (2) the percentage of African-American investigators increased at all the agencies except USPS, the agency with the highest percentage in 1982; (3) the percentage of other minority investigators increased at all agencies except DEA, the agency with the highest percentage of Hispanics in 1982; (4) women remained less represented at the upper salary grade levels at all four agencies; (5) African-Americans remained less represented at upper grade levels at FBI and ATF; (6) Hispanics were less represented at upper grade levels at all agencies except USPS; (7) the career progression of women and minority investigators was similar to that of white male investigators; and (8) men were more likely to be competitively promoted than women and minorities. GAO also found that the reasons for the lower representation levels of women and minorities at some agencies included varying separation rates and entry-level grades.

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