Federal Affirmative Employment:

Status of Women and Minority Representation in the Federal Workforce

T-GGD-92-2: Published: Oct 23, 1991. Publicly Released: Oct 23, 1991.


Michael Brostek
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GAO discussed the status of women and minority representation in the federal workforce. GAO noted that: (1) as of September 1990 the federal civilian workforce representation of white women, Hispanic men, and Hispanic women lagged behind representation in the civilian labor force; (2) white women and minorities have increased their presence in the government's middle and upper management levels, but a substantial disparity still exists; and (3) women and minorities were still often underrepresented in key jobs that can lead to upper and middle management positions.

Status Legend:

More Info
  • Review Pending-GAO has not yet assessed implementation status.
  • Open-Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-implemented-Actions that satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-not implemented-While the intent of the recommendation has not been satisfied, time or circumstances have rendered the recommendation invalid.
    • Review Pending
    • Open
    • Closed - implemented
    • Closed - not implemented

    Recommendations for Executive Action

    Recommendation: The Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), should develop with other agencies, including the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and the Department of Education, an inventory of benchmarks that the agencies may draw from and apply in appropriate situations.

    Agency Affected: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: EEOC met with a consortium of federal agencies to develop approaches to refining 1990 census data by job occupation and geographic location and they have developed 1990 census data which have been provided to all agencies. This action does not address the problem that occurs when Census data become outdated.

    Recommendation: The Chairman, EEOC, in cooperation with OPM: (1) require agencies to analyze for affirmative action purposes hiring, training and development, promotion, and separation data; (2) give agencies guidance on what to analyze; and (3) require agencies to include the results of those analyses in their affirmative employment plans. EEOC and OPM should use these results to compare the progress being made by individual agencies, using the experience of the better performing agencies to help those not doing so well.

    Agency Affected: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

    Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: A proposed management directive which would have addressed GAO's concerns remains in draft with no current plans for publication.

    Recommendation: The Director, OPM, in cooperation with EEOC, should examine options for collecting and analyzing applicant flow data and take prompt appropriate action.

    Agency Affected: Office of Personnel Management

    Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: According to OPM's Director, OPM is opposed to collecting data from job applicants for several reasons. The first concerns accountability. OPM believes that agencies should be held accountable for the compositions of their selections. According to the Director, the composition of the applicant pool is little more than an attempt to deflect accountability away from deciding officials and onto personnel support staff. The second reason OPM opposes collecting these data on job applicants is that it is a reporting burden.

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