Women more satisfied than men in federal jobs

Wednesday - 2/15/2012, 8:00pm EST

In the federal workplace, women are slightly more satisfied in their jobs than men.

Women, who made up 44 percent of the federal workforce in 2011, had a job satisfaction score of 67.1 on a scale of 100, compared with 66.4 for men, according to a Partnership for Public Service analysis of the 2011 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey administered by the Office of Personnel Management.

However, female feds said they felt they were less empowered and gave leadership lower scores in fairness than their male counterparts.

"Women, for example, said they would be less likely than men to disclose a suspected violation of any law, rule or regulation without fear of reprisal. They also were less satisfied than men about their involvement in decisions about their work, and they were more likely than men to believe that arbitrary action, personal favor­itism and coercion for partisan political purposes would be tolerated," the Partnership report said.

The gender gap varies agency by agency. The Small Business Administration had the largest gender gap. Men at the agency gave their leaders a fairness score of 58.8 while women gave 47.4. At the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, women gave leaders a fairness score of 39.9, the lowest in this category among large agency.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission received high ratings in leadership fairness from both men and women — but the men's scores were more than 8 points higher than the women's.

Satisfaction among minorities

The Partnership found Asians have the highest satisfaction in their jobs. The differences in job satisfaction were "relatively small" among blacks, Hispanics and whites, the report said.

"Asians were the most satisfied in almost every workplace cat­egory surveyed except for pay, an issue that brought the highest satisfaction level among white respondents, who comprise 66.2 percent of all federal workers," the report said.

Minorities made up 33.8 percent of the federal workforce in 2010, according to the Partnership's analysis of OPM data.

Minority employees gave higher ratings to their managers on diversity issues compared with policies and programs aimed at promoting diversity, the report said.

Agencies that received the highest ratings for diversity were the Government Accountability Office, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, NRC and NASA.

Agencies currently are finalizing diversity plans that must be ready to implement by next month.

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