White males and black women may find it tougher to get in or move up in government in coming months. On the other hand, men who are black, Hipanic or of American Indian descent may find themselves sought after by federal recruiters and managers looking for people to promote.
Encouraged by the recent Supreme Court ruling in the Weber case, the Office of Personnel Management if drafting guidelines aimed at improving the jobs, grades and salaries of "underrespresented" minorities in the bureaucracy. At the same time, the Equal Employment Opporunity Commission, armed with an array of racial and sex statistics, wants new programs that will focus federal recruiting efforts and dollars on Hispanic communities, mimority colleges and women's groups..tThe Weber decision said in effect that it is legal for private industry to set up special training and promotion programs for minorities, even if there is no established past pattern of discrimination..tUsing Weber as a springboard, both the Office of Personnel Management, which sets government hiring and training trends and the EEOC, which oversees minority job interests in government and on recruiting efforts, have put their lawyers, administrative experts and statisticians to work.
OPM, it appears, will concentrate on improving the status of "underrepresented" minorities already in government and on recruiting efforts, to build up pools of minority job applicants.
EEOC will run parallel programs, but its main emphasis will be on recruiting, trying to find and interest more minorities and women in working fot Unle Sam.
(Federal job registers are already so crowded that the government has halted many tests. Typically there are 12 qualified applicants for every federal job opening. In some occupations there are 99 people in line for every single vacancy.)
The key to the program is defining "underrepresentation." That menas that various raical, ethnic and sex groups are not as numerous in federal occupations as they should be, according to EEOC statistics.For example EEOC says:
White women are underrepresented in Grade 9 and above, governemtn-wide.
Black women fare better, according to EEOC data, but are still underrepresented in Grades 11 throught 18.
Hispanic women, EEOC says are underrepresented in Grades 6 and above.
Hispanic men are underrepresented in every federal grade according to EEOC, indicating that most of the recruiting, training and promotions should to to that group.
Black men need to be found for more jobs in Grades 6 and above.
American Indian men are not found in sufficient numbers in any federal grade level, EEOC says, but attention only at grades 13 and above.
The OPM plan will concentrate on upgrading minorities on the basis of occupations and geogrpaphic region. But officials insist they will not set quotas for hiring or promotion, and that the "special emphasis" programs will be selective according to local markets and underrepresentation by occupations, rather than government-wide.