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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

October-27-95

GAO Reports Finds Women Underrepresented at Four Federal Agencies

A new report from the General Accounting Office states that while women have made progress, they are still underrepresented at four departments -- the Departments of the Interior, Agriculture, Navy and State. The unequal representation is especially m anifest among the higher grades. The report concluded that, "In general, the relative numbers of women and minorities in each agency increased between 1984 and 1992. As of September 1992, however, certain EEO groups were still underrepresented on an ove rall basis and often underrepresented to a greater degree in key jobs when compared to the [civilian work force]." The report also concluded that the agencies fail to adequately analyze their recruitment, hiring and promotion procedures and thus do not i dentify the fundamental causes of underrepresentation. Neither the Office of Personnel Police officers in Maryland's Prince George's County who use racist or sexist language can now can now be fired, fined, or suspended, under a new policy that makes such offenses comparable in seriousness to police brutality. Police Chief John S. Farrell, responding to recent incidences of racism in his department, was quoted as saying he wanted to "send a clear message that this kind of conduct is absolutely unacceptable." The new policy applies to any incidences of demeaning, derogatory, or abusive lan guage relating to race, gender, or religion. Management nor the EEOC provide the oversight necessary to ensure that the agencies' affirmative employment programs correct the underrepresentation.


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