The Black Lives Matter movement has spawned a new crusade called All Lives Matter. Think about it for a second. Do all lives matter? If all lives really mattered, we would not need any movements at all. Let’s face it. All lives do not matter. This is something we have known for a long time. We need these mini movements from time to time to prick our collective consciences as we all go into our individual corners to see if we really matter. When we come out of our segregated workplaces and neighborhoods, we go back to the same old tired notion that the only people who matter are those who look like us, talk like us and act like us.
All this talk about who matters has me thinking about do federal government employees matter?
Let’s look at one small component of federal government employees to see if they matter-women.
Overall women remain under represented in the federal government when compared to the civilian workforce. Women make up 43.3% of the Federal workforce slightly below their 46% representation rate in the total civilian workforce.
Men continue to outnumber women in managerial, Senior Executive Service (SES), persons with disabilities and veterans ranks within the federal government. Women make up a paltry 18.7% of all veterans employed in the federal sector. Male persons with disabilities in the federal sector hold a nearly 3 to 1 advantage over women with disabilities in the federal government. Men make up 64.4% of persons with disabilities in the federal service while women represent 35.6% of persons with disabilities. Men also outnumber women when it comes to overall representation in the federal workforce. Men comprise 56.7% of the federal workforce while women encompass 43.3 percent of federal workers.
White women dominate the federal government female ranks with a representation rate of 58.4%. They more than double the representation rate of their 2nd place colleagues, Black women who comprise 23.8% of federal positions. Hispanic women and Asian women are neck in neck for 3rd place when it comes to federal representation. Hispanics females make up 7.8% of the federal workplace while Asian females represent 6.0% of the federal sector. Consistent with so many other negative affirmative employment indicators in the federal government for American Indians/Alaska Natives, American Indian/Alaska Native women bring up the rear as the smallest female demographic among all women in the federal space. They represent only 2.3% of all female federal employees.
When it comes to women in the federal workplace, it looks like only white women matter.
Let’s see what the sacrosanct Partnership for Public Service’s Best Places to Work in the Federal Government 2014 rankings say about who else matters when it comes to commitment and satisfaction in the federal government. Based on overall racial rankings, Asians are number #1 again at 65.5%, followed by Blacks at 62%, stalked by Whites at 59.9%, and pursued by Hispanics at 58.7%. Bringing up the rear for the 6th year in a row is American Indians/Alaska Natives. Translation-our country’s first citizens do not matter.
American Indians/Alaska Natives should take heart. Commitment and satisfaction levels fell across all demographic indicators showing decreases in engagement for not only the above listed groups, but for every demographic indicator, including women, men, veterans, employees with disabilities, employees under 40 (younger employees), employees over 40 (older employees), Native Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders and last but not least, multi-racial individuals. Maybe nobody matters in the federal government.
To no one’s surprise, the only demographic group whose commitment and satisfaction levels rose in 2014 were the highest paid folks in the federal government-SES. Their score of 81.8% surpassed the rank and file employee score of 59.5%, a difference of nearly 23 points. Translation-government executives matter.
We have found the secret sauce. To matter in the federal government it helps if you are white, male and an executive. I can’t wait until the next candidate development class starts. Oops! I forgot something. I only meet one of the requirements. It is back to the end of the line for me as I commiserate with the rest of the federal government who do not matter.
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