More Women Are on Leadership Tracks in the Federal Government


Women are making progress breaking into Uncle Sam’s top leadership echelons, according to a new report from the Office of Personnel Management.

There is already a higher percentage of women in top management positions in the federal government than in the general U.S. workforce, OPM said. More than one-third (34 percent) of Senior Executive Service positions at federal agencies are held by women, the report said. This is compared to 14.6 percent of executive jobs in the private sector, according to the Center for American Progress, OPM noted.

Younger women are making particular inroads, the report stated. “Women entering the [federal] workforce now are more likely to be on a management track than they were a decade ago,” OPM said in a statement accompanying the analysis.

In 2014, the gap between men and women was much less pronounced among supervisors ages 25-34 than among older supervisors. Nearly 44 percent of supervisors and managers ages 25-34 were women, versus about 35 percent of managers ages 55-64.

The report is the third in a series OPM has released highlighting demographic and other trends in the federal workforce. The findings are based partly on data from the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey.

The report also looked at women’s satisfaction with workplace flexibilities such as telework and alternative schedules, and at the pay gap between men and women. Though that gap has narrowed significantly since 1992, women in white collar federal jobs still earn 87 cents for every dollar men make.

The difference, however, is less pronounced among younger employees and is nearly gone among senior executives, the report noted. Women in the Senior Executive Service earned 99.2 cents for every dollar their male counterparts made in 2012, OPM said. A study released in April 2014 looked at the pay gap in more depth.

“We’re working hard to remove the barriers to women having seats at decision tables at every level of Federal service,” OPM Director Katherine Archuleta said in a statement. “This report will help inform our efforts as we work to help women progress in their careers.”

(Image via Peshkova/

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