Workforce Wonk

By Alyah Khan

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Gender and job satisfaction in the federal government

Do women feds feel as satisfied with their jobs as their male colleagues?

For the most part, it appears that they do. However, there are still gaps in how men and women perceive their work environment, according to data released May 25 by the Partnership for Public Service.

The Partnership’s “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government” snapshot examined workplace differences among men and women.

Based on the Office of Personnel Management’s 2010 employee survey, the Partnership concluded that women are slightly less satisfied than men in nine out of 10 workplace categories and slightly more satisfied in only one category – skills/mission match.

The biggest disparity between men and women related to empowerment and fairness – such as whether employees feel involved with decisions – in the effective leadership category. Women gave the lowest score, compared with men, to the survey question about fear of reprisal for disclosing suspected violations.

Overall, men rated the effective leadership category a score of 57.1 (out of 100), while women rated it 54.6.

Women in management positions appear to face another problem: work/life balance. The survey indicated that women managers were less satisfied in this category than men in management by 2.4 points.

So, what does all this mean and why is it important?

“Today, women are half the labor marker and fill a growing number of management and professional jobs,” the Partnership explained. “Managing the workforce of tomorrow will require leaders to tap the potential of all employees, men and women.”

Sure, the government has done a good job of integrating women into its workforce, but it seems that some agencies have work to do when it comes to making the federal playing field equal for all.

What do you think about the satisfaction gaps among men and women feds? How do you think the government could improve? Do you agree with the survey’s results? Why or why not?

Posted by Alyah Khan on May 25, 2011 at 12:20 PM


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