Women in Federal IT

June 22, 2011

Women continue to remain relatively scarce in a few federal job fields including information technology and engineering - fields important to the current and future federal workforce, according to a new report by the Merit Systems Protection Board.

MSPB found that the number of women in the federal IT field has increased 36 percent since 1991, while the number of women in engineering fields has actually declined 17 percent since that time.

In addition, among professional and administrative employees with fewer than 10 years of service, the education gap between men and women has now shifted to favor women. MSPB noted that the same shift also has occurred outside of the federal government, with women now accounting for the majority of college students and the college degrees conferred each year. Still, men continue to outnumber women in the areas of science and technology, MSPB found.

The report also found that even within a given federal occupation, women often have lower salaries than men - a discrepancy that cannot be fully explained by differences in factors like experience and education, MSPB found.

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