Women working in the federal government are no longer victims of overt discrimination, but are still paid less than men in similar jobs and less likely to be supervisors, a new report says.
“The vision of a workforce in which women are fully represented and utilized has not been wholly achieved,” concludes the report, released Tuesday by the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board.
The independent agency says a lot has changed for women in federal service since it last looked at the issue in 1992. The title of that report, “A Question of Equity: Women and the Glass Ceiling in the Federal Government” was a mirror onto many of the issues women faced.
Now women hold almost a third of the positions in the Senior Executive Service, the government’s elite cadre of managers, up from just 11 percent in 1990.
Fewer women report that they are subjected to overt stereotypes and discrimination; instead, they are rewarded and hired instead on the basis of merit. More women hold professional positions than ever before, and gaps between men and women in education and experience have narrowed.
Yet women still lag in the top ranks of the federal government, and they are dogged by poor chances for advancement and lower pay than men in some professions, such as law enforcement, engineering and information technology, the merit systems board found.
The conclusions are echoed in part by a new study of how men and women in the federal government experience the workplace. In nine out of 10 workplace categories, from pay to training and development, women were slightly less satisfied than men, The Partnership for Public Service found.