U.S. Postal Service:

Diversity in the Postal Career Executive Service

GGD-00-76: Published: Mar 30, 2000. Publicly Released: Mar 30, 2000.

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Bernard L. Ungar
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Office of Public Affairs
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the representation of women and minorities in the U.S. Postal Service's Career Executive Service (PCES), focusing on: (1) the overall extent that women and minorities have been represented in the PCES, fiscal years (FY) 1995 through 1999, and have been selected for positions in the PCES, particularly executive positions, in FY 1999; and (2) efforts under way by the Service to promote diversity within the PCES.

GAO noted that: (1) at the end of FY 1999, women and minorities represented about 35 percent of the PCES executive workforce compared to their representation of about 58 percent in the Service's overall workforce; (2) similarly, their representation among PCES executives for each specific women and minority Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) category was lower than their representation in the corresponding EEO categories in the Service's overall workforce; (3) with respect to the 42 occupied officer positions below the Deputy Postmaster General, women and minorities held 13, or about 31 percent, as of the end of FY 1999; (4) over the last 5 fiscal years women and minority representation among PCES executives has generally increased by about 4 percentage points; (5) most of this change occurred during the last 2 years of the period and was primarily accounted for by the increase in the representation of white women; (6) over the 5-year period, white women's representation has consistently increased while that of Hispanic, Asian, and American Indian women also generally increased after FY 1997; (7) with regard to officers, over the 5-year period, women and minority representation increased by 6 percentage points; (8) regarding the career Senior Executive Service (SES), women and minority representation among the PCES executive workforce was somewhat higher than that in the career SES in the federal workforce and much higher when compared to the civilian career SES workforce at Department of Defense; (9) finally, with respect to selections for PCES executive positions, in FY 1999, women and minorities represented about 33 percent of PCES executives before the selections, and they were selected for 25 of the 59 selections for executive positions; (10) also, women and minority representation as a group among the selections was the same as their representation in the PCES potential successor pool for all the positions; (11) outside hires accounted for 17 percent of all of the executive selections and 24 percent of the 25 women and minority selections; (12) in November 1998, the Service required that its PCES merit performance evaluation process address diversity-related activities in individual executive performance objectives and that executives be accountable for the accomplishment of those objectives; (13) the Service also developed management training programs to help employees better manage their careers; and (14) another Service effort includes the establishment of a diversity oversight group, which is to oversee corporate diversity initiatives.

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