Women in the Military:

Career Progression Not a Current Problem but Concerns Remain

NSIAD-89-210BR: Published: Sep 7, 1989. Publicly Released: Sep 15, 1989.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined whether impediments existed to equitable career progression opportunities for women in the military, focusing on assignment and promotion policies for each service.

GAO found that: (1) although policy issues and factors such as combat exclusion could impede women's career progression, women's promotion rates between 1986 and 1988 were similar to men's; (2) since the number of women who competed for and achieved senior grades was smaller than the number of men, variances between the selection rates did not always mean that impediments had no effect on women's career progression; and (3) most women viewed the processes related to assignments, promotions, and educational opportunities as fair to women, but they had mixed views about whether to change the laws and policies concerning combat exclusion so that women can serve in all positions.

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