Women Still Have Ways to Go in Federal Workforce Wages and Promotions

Female employees in the U.S. government still lag behind men in promotions and wages, according to two reports issued last week.

It’s a good news, bad news situation. Women make up almost a third of the Senior Executive Service, up from 11 percent in 1990 and they account for 44 percent of the government’s professional and administrative jobs in 1999, up from 12 and 20 percent, respectively, in 1976. That was the finding of the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board.

“Those salary differences cannot be fully explained by differences in measurable factors such as experience and education,” the report said.

Meanwhile, the Partnership for Public Service, in a report prepared with the consulting firm Deloitte, showed gender differences in men’s and women’s satisfaction with their work in government. For example, among managers, women’s satisifcation rates with their work-life balance, fell 2.4 percentage points behind those of male managers.

But the median salary for women in professional and administrative jobs  was 93 percent of that of men in 2009–an improvement over the 83 percent in 1991–but a gap nonetheless.

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