Gov Career

By Phil Piemonte

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Well, federal women, what do you think?

Two sets of information about women in the federal workplace came out this week. The first is a large study from the Merit Systems Protection Board detailing the progress made by women in the federal workplace in the past two decades. The second is a snapshot of workplace satisfaction released by the Partnership for Public Service.

According to both sources, federal women differ from federal men across a lot of characteristics.

In the PPS snapshot, the responses of the two sexes on a range of characteristics related to job satisfaction differed — but not by much. Overall, women expressed slightly less job satisfaction than men.

In the larger (100-plus pages) study from MSPB, the board found that in the past 20 or so years, women in the federal workforce have begun to converge (close the gap) with men on a number of characteristics, such as pay, education and length of service. And more women have entered the supervisory and executive ranks.

Nonetheless, in spite of those gains, female feds continue to be less likely than men to be employed in the highest-paying occupations and often continue to have lower salaries than men in a given occupation. Some of that has to do with the occupations women choose to pursue, but that alone can’t explain everything, MSPB said.

Another MSPB finding: Women perceive less gender discrimination and stereotyping today. The board said promotion data seems to support that perception.

Well, we’re wondering what our readers — those who happen to be women in the federal workplace — think about all this.

We’d like ask them to take a few minutes to click through and check out this stuff, and then let us know how it jibes with their experiences. We’re waiting.

Posted by Phil Piemonte on May 26, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Reader comments

Wed, Jul 6, 2011

I have "trained" many a boss in my day. Field personnel, who are "promoted" to run the place with no "substance/guts" knowledge of the organization's foundations. While those in the "office", who know the rules and regulations are never given opportunity but are there day in and day out keeping the boss straight (which by the way becomes very frustrating when the boss's can choose to make decisions "whatever way" they want, not considering rules & regs but w/expectation that you not deter from the rules!)!! Being well versed in protocol, rules and regulation in all other "arenas", goes alot further than "a need to know the science", when it comes to keeping an organization clean running and out of trouble! I say leave the scientists in the "field", doing what they do best! Women are stuck in the latter, controlled by the former!

Tue, Jun 21, 2011

EPA is still living in the dark ages as far as I'm concerned. I have worked my whole career (27 years @ EPA in Philadelphia, PA and gotten nowhere as far as my career is concerned. I've applied numberous times for an Environmental Protection Specialist (EPS) which I was qualified for and got passed over and over again!!! I have an EPA certification which prepared you for an EPS position. All my colleagues who took and got their EPA certification all got promoted to an EPS position. I work in the Water Protection Division and they do not promote their secretaries with fairness.

Thu, Jun 16, 2011 Female Fed DC

I work for a huge agency in DC, and the culture is all about men, and about satisfying those that watch our levels of diversity. Its been studied recently that Women are at the bottom of the heap within the workforce when it comes to promotion and even the diversity of jobs in all offices nationwide. And to add to it all, the agency ignores telework and is openly seeking ways to "get around" it. So why would a women feel this to be a place of growth?

Wed, Jun 15, 2011

Being from a "rural" location in a lower grade,GS-6, the Gov. has very little compassion and empathy to "situations". I have wanted to move to a bigger city and would have to "sacrifice" immensley to make the move, and pay higher rent and living expenses, etc.. I am a hard worker, with 27+ years of Gov. Service. I keep my boss "on course" and out of trouble. I am given little incentive, it come naturally! I also have a college degree....and want a higher grade, maybe I'm not hungry enough but I'm also close to "retirement"!

Fri, Jun 3, 2011

One of the many problems with the female workforce is we need flexibility. I know the administration gives lip service to telework, flexschedule, and compressed schedule but things at my facility are not that way. Although our main facility is centrally located in our state, most employees drive over 50 miles to work each day. And our local administration for our facility will not allow the variations in work scheduling listed above. These flexibilities are needed more by women than men and denying this cuts down on the ability of women to make the work/home balance.

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