Glass Ceilings The Status of Women as Officials and Managers in the Private Sector

Glass Ceilings: The Status of Women as Officials and Managers in the Private Sector

Executive Summary

An examination of EEO-1 data, primarily from the most recent 2002 reports, provides insights into the status of women as officials and managers in the private sector.

  • The percent of women officials and managers in the private sector has increased from just over 29 percent in 1990 to 36.4 percent in 2002.
  • Women represent 48 percent of all EEO-1 employment, but represent only 36.4 percent of officials and managers. Women make up 80.3 percent of office and clerical workers. Interestingly, women exceed their overall employment rates as professionals and sales workers and are quite close to their overall employment rate in technical jobs.
  • Industries from the health care sector of the economy are the most likely to employ women as officials and managers.
  • Manufacturing industries are least likely to employ women as officials and managers.
  • Comparisons between officials and managers and white collar jobs (professionals, technicians and sales workers) indicate that women have the highest odds of being managers in the industries of Legal Services, Scheduled Air Transportation, Services to Building and Dwellings and Offices of Physicians.
  • Comparisons between officials and managers and white collar jobs indicate that women have the lowest odds of being managers in Nursing Care Facilities, Full-Service Restaurants, Pulp, Paper and Paperboard Mills and Animal Slaughtering and Processing industries.
  • Comparisons between officials and managers at headquarters and officials and managers at field establishments indicate that women have the highest odds of being managers at headquarter facilities in Motor Vehicle Manufacturing, Electrical Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution, Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing, and General Freight Trucking industries.
  • Comparisons between officials and managers at headquarters and officials and managers at field establishments indicate that women have the lowest odds of being managers at headquarter facilities in industries from the health care sector of the economy.
  • Glass Ceilings The Status of Women as Officials and Managers in the Private Sector
  • Comparisons between officials and managers at headquarters and white collar workers at headquarters indicate that women have the highest odds of being managers at headquarter facilities in Legal Services, Employment Services, Security Brokers, and Telecommunications industries.
  • Comparisons between officials and managers at headquarters and white collar workers at headquarter facilities indicate that women have the lowest odds of being managers at headquarter facilities in Investigation and Security Services, Full-Service Restaurants, Other Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing and Motor Vehicle Body and Trailer Manufacturing industries.
  • As a general rule, industries with a low proportion of women in headquarters management have a low proportion of women in their respective recruiting pools (field management and white collar jobs at headquarters). Conversely, industries with a high proportion of women in headquarters management have a high proportion of women in their respective recruiting pools (field management and white collar jobs at headquarters).
  • Industries with a high proportion of women in headquarters management are more likely to have disparities between the men and women in field management pools and less likely to have such disparities in white collar pools. Conversely, industries with a low proportion of women in headquarters management are less likely to have disparities in field management pools and more likely to have disparities from white collar pools.
  • Employers may find it useful to explore their own employment practices in light of the findings of this report.
    • This self-evaluation could apply the statistical models and analytical techniques utilized in the report to their firm’s actual promotion pools so that the entry of women and minorities into top management positions is assessed.
    • Employers can follow-up on such analyses with a review of their formal and informal personnel practices to identify those policies and procedures that foster the open and competitive selection of top management as well as those policies and procedures that restrict open competition.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction

While the presence and status of women in the work force have increased dramatically since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, there are still concerns about the relative absence of women in higher management ranks, which some have described as the «glass ceiling.» In 1995, the Federal Glass Ceiling Commission (1) concluded that «today’s American labor force is gender and race segregated — white men fill most top management positions in corporations.» The issue has taken on particular significance as women and minorities have increased their occupational status. The term «glass ceiling» is generally used to refer to instances where women and minorities have progressed within a firm but, despite their ambitions and qualifications, find it difficult to make the movement into key higher level management positions, or management positions at all. The social disadvantage of these glass ceilings is the inability of the most qualified employees to move into the most important positions due to irrelevant criteria such as race or gender. The selection of a less qualified employee negatively impacts both the employer and ultimately the economy as a whole. The successful elimination of glass ceilings requires not just an effective enforcement strategy but the involvement of employers, employees and others in identifying and reducing attitudinal and other forms of organizational barriers encountered by minorities and women in advancing to higher level management positions in different workplace settings.

The main purpose of this report is to use data from the 2002 EEO-1 Survey of Firms in Private Industry to explore the status of women in management. The research will develop some new ways of analyzing the EEO-1 data that focus on access to management positions generally, and perhaps more importantly, access to management positions at headquarter facilities. The primary contribution of these analyses of the EEO-1 survey is the ability to raise important problems and questions about gender-based discrimination given the wide variations in the types of firms and industries in the American economy. While this initial report on glass ceilings focuses on the status of women, the analyses developed here can be applied to examine minority groups.

The report takes strides toward examining the glass ceiling problem within the boundaries of the EEO-1 survey, which historically has collected data on officials and managers in one large job group. By aggregating all managers with officials and reporting them in a single category, the data cannot be examined to show the various levels of responsibility. Despite this limitation, the results of an analysis of EEO-1 data in the Officials and Managers category as well as methodologies for examining entry into management positions can prove useful. A goal of this research is to stimulate readers, especially employers, to identify and reduce inappropriate obstacles women encounter in advancing to management in different workplace settings.

This research examines the issue of glass ceilings from various perspectives. The first perspective examines the critical initial selection into management positions broadly defined as any type of managerial position. To identify potential gender-based disparities, the employment of women as officials and managers is compared to the potential pool of managers from the white collar positions of professionals, technicians and sales workers. The second and third perspectives focus on the advancement of headquarters managers from two kinds of potential pools: managers in field operations and white collar employees at headquarters. Specifically, women employed as officials and managers at the headquarters facilities are compared to women employed as officials and managers at the firm’s other establishments. Women employed as officials and managers at headquarters are also compared to women in white collar positions at headquarters.

These three approaches combine to provide an analysis that reflects how officials and managers are selected. (2) The behavior of firms within industries is summarized to provide insight into the characteristics of different industries.

Research into the glass ceiling and occupational barriers has included useful examinations of both public and private sector work forces. Research of note includes Reid, Kerr and Miller 2000; Lewis and Nice 1994; Tomaskovic-Devy 1993; Carrington and Troske, 1995 and 1998; Weeden, 1998 and Blau, Simpson and Anderson (1998) (3). The issue of glass ceilings can also be viewed as a special case of occupational segregation.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) operates a data collection system that, in essence, collects data from all employers in the United States with 100 or more employees. The EEO-1 collects data from private employers. These annual reports indicate the composition of employers’ workforces by gender and by race/ethnic category. (4) In 2002, more than 39,000 employers submitted, as appropriate, individual establishment and headquarters reports for more than 225,000 reporting establishments with about 52 million employees. The EEO-1 collects data on nine major job categories: (1) officials and managers, (2) professionals, (3) technicians, (4) sales workers, (5) office and clerical workers, (6) craft workers, (7) operatives, (8) laborers and (9) service workers. (5) Race/ethnic designations used in the year 2002 EEO-1 reports are White (not of Hispanic origin), Black (not of Hispanic origin), Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander, American Indian or Alaskan Native. In addition to the work force data provided by the employer, information about each establishment is added to the database. This additional information includes the establishment’s North American Industrial Classification System code, the establishment’s county and its metropolitan area code. Firm level EEO-1 data are confidential. (6)

The Employment of Women as Officials and Managers

The percentage of women officials and managers in the private sector has increased from just over 29 percent in 1990 to 36.4 percent in 2002.

Employment of Women as Officials and Managers (1990-2002)


Leave a Reply