Diversity and Affirmative Action in Public Service

By Walter D. Broadnax | Go to book overview

confidence in these findings. However, regression analysis gives few reasons to feel comfortable about improvements over the past decade.


Conclusions

Do the findings necessarily mean that current discrimination causes so few women and minorities to achieve supervisory authority? No, a variety of other factors may be at work. Errors in measurement and the shortage of other measures of ability may overstate the differences. For instance, the model includes only the amount of federal experience but not the type. Women generally have less work experience than men of the same age. In addition, women and minorities may pass up opportunities to supervise other workers if they expect resistance from subordinates or, especially in the case of women, if they decide that the work will be too time-consuming and take them away from their families. 17

The general pattern is discouraging, however. White males remain far more likely than women and minorities to supervise other employees. Differences in education, age, and federal experience cannot explain this fact. Neither can current grade levels. Supervisory and managerial authority are far from the only sources of power in the federal service. People in staff positions, for instance, may have substantial impacts on their agencies' policies. Still, if women and minorities are less likely to have control over subordinates and budgets even when they reach higher grade levels, they may be denied other aspects of power as well.


TABLE 11.4 Appendix
Independent VariablesModel IModel II
CoefficientsStandard
Errors
CoefficientsStandard
Errors
White Female -1.49*** 0.39 -5.44*** 0.59
Black Male -2.07*** 0.52 -5.57*** 0.75
Black Female -1.50** 0.45 -5.68*** 0.64
Hispanic Male -2.22** 0.87 -6.43*** 1.07
Hispanic Female -2.37** 0.67 -6.80*** 0.87
Asian Male -0.55 2.05 -3.43 2.07
Asian Female -2.15* 1.09 -6.29*** 1.34
Native American Male 6.08 3.82 9.20 5.53
Native American Female -1.74 1.24 -3.35*** 1.28
Federal Experience 0.015 0.061 0.635*** 0.073
Federal Experience Squared 0.010*** 0.002 0.004 0.003
Age 0.084 0.071 0.438*** 0.084
Age Squared -0.001 0.001 -0.005*** 0.001
Years of Education -0.144 0.107 0.474*** 0.101

-174-

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