Gov Careers

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 12:13 PM


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