Equal Opportunity:

Underrepresentation of Minorities and Women in the Foreign Service

T-NSIAD-89-49: Published: Sep 22, 1989. Publicly Released: Sep 22, 1989.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

GAO discussed its report on the representation of minorities and women in the Department of State's Foreign Service. GAO noted that: (1) minority representation at State increased from 7 percent to 11 percent between 1981 and 1987, while white women continued to represent about 24 percent of the work force; (2) although State eliminated minority and white women underrepresentation for entry-level Foreign Service officers, minorities and white women represented only 4.1 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively, of senior positions in 1987; (3) 5 percent of minorities passed the Service's written examination, as compared to 20 percent of white applicants; (4) although State instituted a near-pass program in which it allowed 28 percent of minorities taking the Service's written examination to take an oral examination, minorities were less successful than whites in the oral examination; (5) the Service's review panel for officer candidates rejected minority candidates at a higher rate than it rejected white candidates; (6) minorities and white women were disproportionately assigned to administrative and consular work; (7) the Service granted tenure to higher percentages of white men than to minorities and white women; (8) State did not properly analyze its work force to establish hiring or promotion goals and did not analyze possible impediments to equal employment opportunity; and (9) State planned to alter its affirmative action plan, compile more information on applicants' race and gender, and redesign its written examination.

Jul 25, 2013

May 16, 2013

Aug 2, 2012

Sep 30, 2011

Apr 28, 2011

Jul 29, 2010

May 24, 2010

Dec 3, 2009

Oct 27, 2009

Oct 14, 2009

Looking for more? Browse all our products here