A ‘glass ceiling’ exists for women at DOJ
- By Sherkiya Wedgeworth
- Jul 10, 2018
Women hold fewer investigator and leadership roles at the Justice Department, a recent inspector general report finds.
An analysis by the DOJ's Office of Inspector General has found that women are significantly underrepresented at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms; the Drug Enforcement Administration; and the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
“We believe that our analysis might indicate possible issues at ATF, DEA, and FBI for women advancing into supervisory positions,” the report finds, adding, “Our analysis indicated ATF and DEA female criminal investigators were underrepresented in competitive promotions compared to their proportion of the population at the next lower grade level.”
According to the IG report, women account for only 16 percent of criminal investigators at all of these agencies.
It also found that women criminal investigators frequently reported gender discrimination, and both men and women believed that personnel connections influence promotions and other advancements.
“Many staff members reported to us that they had experienced discrimination and had not reported it and close to 45 percent of survey respondents said that they would not or were unsure whether they would use the EEO process if they experienced discrimination,” according to the report.
The IG made six recommendations for improvement:
1. Assess recruitment, hiring, and retention activities to identify barriers to gender equity in the workforce.
2. Develop and implement component-level recruiting, hiring, and retention strategies and goals that address the identified barriers to gender equity in the workforce.
3. Develop and implement a plan to track and analyze demographic information on newly hired staff and applicants, as appropriate, to evaluate recruitment strategies.
4. Identify and take steps to address barriers to advancement for women within the component and among different job types.
5. Develop and implement methods to improve the objectivity and transparency of the merit promotion process.
6. Develop and implement methods to address perceptions of stigmatization and retaliation associated with the Equal Employment Opportunity complaint process.
View the full report here.