Women in the Federal Government: Ambitions and Achievements

Women in the Federal Government: Ambitions and Achievements
Women in the Federal Government: Ambitions and Achievements
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This report assesses the treatment and advancement of women in the Federal Government. MSPB finds that much has changed for the better since its 1992 report “An Question of Equity: Women and the Glass Ceiling in the Federal Government.” For example, women hold an increased proportion of positions in the Senior Executive Service, and fewer women report that they are subjected to discrimination or stereotypes. However, the vision of a workforce in which women are fully represented and utilized has not been wholly achieved. Federal agencies may need to reexamine their approaches to recruitment, work assignment, or leadership development to address contemporary challenges such as continuing occupational differences between women and men. The report outlines recommendations that Federal agencies, managers, and employees can take to promote workplace fairness and the full utilization of all employees.

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Table of Contents

Executive Summary i

Introduction 1

The Employment Status of Women in the Federal Government 5

Factors Affecting the Advancement, Recruitment,

and Representation of Women 11

Employees’ Career Interests and Actions 29

Employee Perceptions of Work and the Workplace 45

Conclusions and Recommendations 53

Appendix A.

Discussion Group Questions 61

Appendix B.

The 2007 Career Advancement Survey (CAS) 63

Appendix C.

Occupational Categories and Definitions 75

Appendix D.

Occupational Groups in the Federal Government 77

Appendix E.

Use of Information from OPM’s Central Personnel Data File 79

Appendix F.

Achieving a Representative Workforce—The Vision and the Standard 81

Appendix G.

Entry Requirements for Selected Professional

and Administrative Occupations 85

Appendix H.

Shattering the Glass Ceiling: Actions for

Federal Agencies and Managers 89

Appendix I.

Career Advancement Suggestions for Federal Employees 93


Federal employees, their supervisors, agency management, union personnel, especially Human Capital officers and employees across the U.S. Federal Government may be interested in this report.  Additionally, members of Congress, and Federal managers within the Office of Management and Budget, and Office of Personnel Management that is responsible for policy making authority may find this guide helpful as a reference with human resources and civil service matters.  Additionally, students pursuing research for courses within these fields, especially public administration, human resources, employment law, organizational development, and industrial-organizational psychology may find this primary source document that deals with civil service issues helpful for assignments.

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