GAO: Fed agencies need to do more to recruit black, women IT workers

While the number of Asian and Hispanic federal IT workers has increased in recent years, there has been no improvement for black and female workers in the field, according to a recent Government and Accountability report.

“These groups have also been less represented among technology workers inside the technology sector than outside it,” the report notes, adding, “In contrast, Asian workers were more represented in these occupations than in the general workforce.”

The report acknowledges that technology companies are a major source of high-paying U.S. jobs, but some have questioned the sector’s commitment to equal employment opportunity.

In general, Asian workers have dominated the field, according to the report, that noted that there are fewer women and minorities overall who have degrees in technology.

GAO recommends that, EEOC develop a timeline to improve industry data collection and that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs take steps to require more specific minority placement goals;  the OFCCP require contractors to disaggregate demographic data for the purpose of setting placement goals rather than setting a single goal for all minorities; and that the OFCCP evaluate the Functional Affirmative Action Program to assess its usefulness as an effective alternative to an establishment-based program, and determine what improvements are needed, among other recommendations.

Reader comments

Thu, Jan 25, 2018 walter San Juan, Puerto Rico

During the Vietnam War there was a lottery in which men were assigned a priority number for being drafted into the war. Then, depending on the need, they were drafted according to their number. Perhaps this should be done for women. Just have a lottery to see which will be drafted into taking degrees for IT work. If this seems unfair, then perhaps the problem is not in hiring, but rather in personal career choice of women. By the way the way the Feds have arranged our budget with a deliberate reduction of IT workers in the NWS. So, start there first. Who wants to take a job if there is no demand?

Wed, Jan 24, 2018 Michelle NYS

I know quite a few IT people who were told to study the IVTs yet they were neither smarter nor mire qualified. They were white and Asian. Weren't proficient in technical work and given opportunites others weren't.

Wed, Jan 24, 2018 Adakin Valorem Melbourne FL

The obvious solution is to train more qualified white, Hispanic and/or oriental males to be black females so that the gov't can fill the desired racial/gender based quota.

Wed, Jan 24, 2018 John

Enough of this foolish nonsense. Blacks and women normally don't gravitate into the IT fields. Are they proposing to hire these individuals despite lack of qualifications? Of course, it's being done. Sad how we have politicized the once-respected civil service.

Wed, Jan 24, 2018 Zagnut

Absolutely! It's just absurd to hire people based on ability, experience, and character.

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
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