You are on page 1of 42

PROGRAM EVALUATION ON THE PERFORMANCE OF THE SECRETARYS TASKFORCE ON THE EMPLOYMENT AND ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN AT THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS

AFFFAIRS CENTRAL OFFICE

MSA 699 Project Report

Submitted in Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science in Administration (Concentration in Human Resources Administration)

by ______________________

Project Instructor William Mason Beale Ph.D. August 7, 2011

2 Executive Summary The intent of this research was to discover if the recommendations provided by the Secretarys Taskforce on the Employment and Advancement of Women in the Department of Veterans Affairs had an impact on increasing the representation of women at the management and Senior Executive Service (SES) level within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Central Office. According to a 2003 General Accounting Office (GAO) report the VA ranked last among all of the cabinet level agencies for women at the management and SES level. Sparked by the GAO report the Secretarys Taskforce on the Employment and Advancement of Women in the VA was formed to research barriers and provide recommendations to the Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and Administration. There are several barriers that may play a part in gender disparity at the management and SES level within VA. Organizational attitude and culture play a major part in what employees deem acceptable and unacceptable social norms and attitudes in the workplace. Many women climbing the corporate ladder encounter stereotypes, beliefs that no qualified women are available for upward mobility and fear of change. These types of attitudes left unchallenged send an unspoken message that this way of thinking is acceptable. Another contributor is the lack of training. Training rejuvenates, educates and provides future leaders with necessary tools to reach their goals. Unfortunately training and developing others is not a priority for many supervisors and managers. VAs training policy until recently had not been updated in the past 20 years and there are no Department-wide standards or curriculum for training and development of supervisors, managers and executives. Establishing department-wide standards would hold senior

3 leadership, supervisors and manager accountable for leading with integrity and demonstrating a commitment to an environment that recognizes, trains, and promotes women.

4 Table of Contents Title Page Executive..2 Table of Contents4 Chapter I: Definition of the Problem6 Introduction6 Problem Statement..6 Description of Program Inputs and Activities...7 Research Objective..9 Operational Indicators.9 Chapter II: Literature Review10 Introduction.10 Women in Leadership...10 Chapter III: Methodology...21 Introduction.21 Chosen Typology..21 Assumptions...21 Research....22 Data Collection...22 Data Gathering Techniques.23 Data Analysis and Synthesis.. 24 Reliability and Validity.. 24 Scope and Limitations..25

5 Chapter IV: Data Analysis.26 Introduction.26 Demography...26 Objective.26 Objective Questions..27 Analysis of Survey Questions Supporting Project Objectives...27 Chapter V: Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations..36 Summary36 Conclusions...36 Recommendations37 References...38 Appendix A VACO Data Sheet..40 Appendix B VACO Targeted Grade Level Data41 Appendix C VACO SES Data.42

6 CHAPTER I: DEFINITION OF THE PROBLEM

Introduction

In 2003 the Secretarys Taskforce on the Employment and Advancement of Women was formed to address the under representation of women in management and at the Senior Executive Service (SES) level within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Central Office. Sparked by the GAO report and a growing concern of the employment and advancement of women the Secretarys Taskforce on the Employment and Advancement of Women in the VA was formed to research barriers and provide recommendations to the Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and Administration.

Problem Statement

A negative organizational attitude toward women in leadership is at the foundation of VAs under representation of women in leadership. Many women climbing the corporate ladder encounter stereotypes, beliefs that no qualified women are available for upward mobility and fear of change. These types of attitudes left unchallenged send an unspoken message that this way of thinking is acceptable. Another issue contributing to women being under represented is lack of training. Training rejuvenates, educates and provides future leaders with necessary tools to reach their goals. Unfortunately training and developing others is not a priority for many supervisors and managers. VAs training policy has not changed for more than 20 years and there are no Department-wide standards or curriculum

7 for training and development of supervisors, managers and executives. The VA also lacks an efficient tracking system, which is needed to provide data regarding career development of women and critical to planning workforce diversity.

Description of the Program Inputs

In October 2002, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs met with 28 women at the GS-14 and above grade levels to discuss concerns regarding the employment, training, and advancement of women. From that meeting the Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and Administration asked senior level officials to nominate participants for the Secretarys Taskforce on the Employment and Advancement of Women in the VA. The Task Force was mandated to research and obtain best practices from private sector and other agencies; to work with professional organizations to further enhance VAs ability to recruit, retain and prepare highly skilled women to become future VA executives and identify strategies to recognize the accomplishments of women in government.

Description of Program Activities

The Task Force was formed October 2002 and had its first meeting in December to develop a comprehensive plan that would focus on the current situation, data collection and analysis, business case and a plan that could be linked to VAs Strategic Plan. The Task Force reviewed VAs current situation and found that although women represented 61% of VAs workforce only 37% of those at the GS-13 and above grade levels

8 were women. Essentially the concentration of women within the VA were located at the lower GS levels and the positions held by women were support positions such as technician, clerk or assistant as opposed to management positions predominantly held by men. The Task Force also discovered that more training programs for GS-13, GS-14 and GS-15 level positions were needed. Although there were a variety of effective administration-level development programs, the VA training policy had not been updated in 20 years. There were no Department-wide standards or curriculum for training managers and supervisors.

Performance Criteria The standard data used to determine the impact of the Taskforces recommendations is the number of women in VAs Central Office promoted and employed at the GS-13, 14, 15 and SES level.

Research Objective

The objective of this study was to discover if the recommendations provided by the Secretarys Task Force on the Employment and Advancement of Women in the VA had an impact on increasing the representation of women at the management and SES level within the Department of Veterans Affairs Central Office (VACO). The first step was to examine the previous data.

9 Research Questions

1) 2) 3) 4)

Were new positions added from 2002 2005? Was the increase of women 10% or more? Is the gap between men and women narrower? Is there a trend among all the grade levels collectively?

Operational Indicators

Indicators of the Task Forces impact would be a trend increase in the number of women at the GS-13, 14, 15 and/or SES levels over time.

CHAPTER II: LITERATURE REVIEW

Introduction The objective of this study was to discover if the recommendations provided by the Secretarys Task Force on the Employment and Advancement of Women in the VA had an impact on increasing the representation of women at the management and SES level in VA. This was the focal point of the literature review. The literature review covered a wide-range of resource materials including books, magazines, periodicals and web-based information.

Women in Leadership

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM, 2006) showed that women made up 45% of the civilian workforce and 44% of the Federal workforce. Despite the large percentage women in the workforce they hold less than 5% of top management jobs in the country (Mitra, 2003). The majorities of positions held by women are usually either support or staff positions. Women are making great strides professionally by successfully building careers in male-dominated industries but there are still many barriers that women face in obtaining management and executive level positions. Societal attitudes and social norms play a major part in shaping an organizations culture. Various areas such as academia, health care and corporations are areas where women have difficulties obtaining top-ranking positions (Mitra, 2003). An organizations culture can promote or hinder the advancement of women. Organizations that do not support efforts to advance women may be fearful that

11 promoting or investing in women will not yield a profitable return due to life events such as pregnancy, family responsibilities or uncertainty in a womens ability to lead. The family dynamics in our society have changed considerably over the past 30 years and the assumption can no longer be made that a working mother is married. In researching the needs of a more diverse workforce Keller (2005) noted that women are looking for more flexibility to manage life as well as career in the workplace. As the rate of divorce increases and more non-conventional family methods are offered the workplace encompasses not only married women with families but single mothers with children to care for. Essentially women make career choices based on their family care needs (Smithson, Lewis & Dyer, 2004). DOL (2006) predicts that women will account for at least 51% of the workforce from 2001-2014. In comparison to 30 years ago women comprise a significant portion of the workforce today and many companies have been proactive in developing initiatives to meet the needs of their changing workforce. Many organizations have

implemented work/life initiatives such as flexible and other alternative work schedules to enable women to succeed. Cultures within CPA firms have changed considerably over time. Keller (2005) noted a significant increase in the percentage of women at partner levels at some of the nations Top 25 firms. Despite CPA being a historically male-dominated profession through education and strategic planning the industrys culture has evolved into a more woman-friendly environment. The statistics show that women hold a very small percentage of senior academic and institutional leadership positions (Todd & Bird, 2000). Due to accepted

12 stereotypes such as women being less aggressive, ambitious or careerminded, discrimination has become a part of the social norm and mindset in many elite professions. The slow rate of promotions for women in the academic field lies heavily in the merit system. The merit system yields many negatives for women in the world of academics because the system evaluates the educators career from the beginning to the present for promotions such as having high productivity at the start of ones career and less later on in life. Therefore, when a woman decides to take a break to care for loved-ones or chooses part-time work over full-time for a certain amount of time that break in career produces less than stellar performance results (Todd & Bird, 2000). Those results account for a substantial amount of women in the academic field who are held to a standard that is skewed in a way that a break in the educators career or educating part-time automatically gives a negative connotation. Research also shows that while 50% of female educators are the main caregivers in their families a mere 4.3% of men are sole caregivers (Todd & Bird, 2000). The absence from the job market does not fair well for women according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS only measures the earnings of full-time not part-time workers according to Stephen Rose, an economist at Macro International Inc, and Heidi Hartman, President of the Institute for Womens Policy Research (Bernstein, 2004). Women that leave the workforce or work part-time lose out in the long run due to less work experience which equates to lower pay. Statistics show that of 1,026,000 women in the workforce 622,000 worked part-time and 404,000 worked full-time while 1.5 million men worked full-time and 93,000 worked part-time (Albrechtsen, 2004). Employers

13 tend to believe that part-time workers are less dependable or not as fully invested as full-time workers therefore promotion and training opportunities become limited as opposed to full-time workers (Smithson, Lewis & Dyer, 2004). Social norms weigh heavily in how society as a whole views occupation segregation and discrimination. Occupation segregation is one of the leading factors in salary inequity. Contrary to belief many women have careers in the same occupations as men but the discrepancy comes into play according to Mitra (2003) when women hold the lower paying jobs within the same occupation. Occupation segregation refers to the distribution of men and women across occupations, such that women are case workers and men are highway patrol officers (Guy & Newman, 2004). Many organizations want to believe that everyone in their organization is paid equally but that is usually not the case. During an interview with Multinational Monitor Ms. Heidi Hartmann stated that it is common for an entire occupation to have a lower pay rate simply because women or minorities commonly hold those positions (Closing the Gap, 2003). Those jobs held by women are described as pink collar which Henderson (2003) describes as the kinds of work in which women are the predominant jobholders and in most cases the pay is less because women dominate those particular occupations such as nurses, medical technicians, retail sales personnel, secretaries and clerks. According to the

National Committee on Pay Equity men continue to make nearly $3,800 more in the nursing field, which is dominated by females (Hessaramiri & Kleiner, 2001). Another dimension of occupation segregation deals with personal traits. The

14 author feels that many pink collar jobs such teachers, nurses etc are paid less due to an attitude that women naturally posses the qualities and skills in that profession which leads to women being valued for performance and men being valued more so for their potential (Thin on Top, 2002). Occupation segregation encompasses numerous factors that attribute to pay disparity such as low wage pink-collar jobs, job advancement and the downside of part-time employment. Though occupation segregation contributes to the

gender wage gap discrimination is another contributor to the pay gap between men and women. When dealing with discrimination women encounter biases that have nothing to do with skills, education or experience but have more to do with an employers preference and the culture of that particular organization. The attitude towards women working full-time and part-time across the board varies according to industries and organizations but there seems to be a general an implication about male versus female traits and whether those traits enhance or hinder job performance and the value that society places on those characteristics. Society views tough, competitive and aggressive qualities as masculine in nature and within many top management positions possessing those qualities are rewarded (Thin on Top, 2002). With that being said women that tend to posses those traits are caught in a catch 22 because tough aggressive women are sometimes viewed as cold, unapproachable or rude. The sentiment early on according to Kanter was that women worked well in the office because women radiated agreeableness and courtesy in the office (Guy & Newman, 2004) and although

15 women have moved into more male-dominated industries that sentiment is still present today. Discrimination is another barrier that women face in the workplace. Discrimination comes in many forms in how it pertains to the gender wage equity. Some of the most common forms of discrimination are pay, job assignment, promotion and compensation (Yoo, 2003). Discrimination among women in the workplace is very common but difficult to prove without proper documentation and reliable data. Hartmann found that 9 to 13 percentage points of pay disparity is due to discrimination (Hessaramiri & Kleiner, 2001). Many felt that the Equal Pay Act of 1963 would solve the wage gap because it clearly states that you cant pay a man and a women different wages for the same job but it didnt according to Hartmann who also felt that women are discriminated through promotion, assignment and comparable worth (Closing the Gap, 2003). Women that are qualified through specific job skills, experience and education and are able to enter the more male-dominated occupations there seems to be another barrier waiting in wings for them as they try to advance in their occupations through promotions. Promotions can be just as difficult to obtain as the career but having a career does not guarantee success. A successful career is created by a series of opportunities that demonstrate skills that are valued by the organization. Promotions can be a sign of a job well done or can serve as a reward that the person is doing well and has the potential to do more in a more advanced or specialized capacity. Career advancement in the area of sales and

16 other occupations where promotion is based on productivity or some type of quantifiable variable is ideal for women but there are still occupations that have performance systems in place that make it extremely difficult for women to move up the career ladder. Although women are under-represented in the academic field there are areas that are improving such as the economic profession. Research shows the gap narrowing in economics partly because promotion prospects vary across institutions and over time (McDowell, Singell & Ziliak, 1999). Institutions that have decided to modify or reevaluate certain aspects of their tenure program have taken an active role in breaking down stereotypes and providing additional avenues for promotion. The Federal government also assessed their level of discrimination with establishing the U.S Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), which was designed to determine whether minorities and nonminorities have equal access to federal jobs (Ingkapattanakul & Kleiner, 2001, p. 14). The federal, public and private sectors all have some form of discrimination in the workplace. This is evident in the number of organizations constantly being sued. The terms of the discrimination are very vague in nature and sometimes difficult to prove but an understanding of wage and labor laws aid in deciphering what is legal and what is illegal. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is part of the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment Standards Administration recovered $80 million dollars in 2000 for financial settlements for victims of workplace discrimination (Hessaramiri & Kleiner 2001).

17 In 2003 71.6 million men had a median weekly earning of $683 while 62.9 million women earned $517 (Henderson, 2003). With those figures growing there is a definite need to identify, evaluate and address factors contributing to the wage gap. This topic has become a major interest in many studies and industry and organizational gender stereotypes seem to be another factor that influences advancement opportunities for women. Despite societys dismissal that stereotypes do not influence career advancement there are still negative connotations associated with women in leadership positions. More

male-dominated industries feel that women are caregivers by nature and the drive and determination needed for success is just not evident. In order to break through stereotypes and move forward organizations need to reevaluate the criteria used to evaluate work performance. With family dynamics and society changing employers face new challenges in a job market that is becoming more diverse. The Federal Government has several different pay systems. The General Schedule (GS) is the largest pay system. It covers most white-collar jobs and consists of 15 numerical grade levels and their corresponding salaries. The Federal Wage System (WG) pay system covers blue- collar jobs in apprentice and journeyman trades and crafts occupations. The Senior Executive Schedule (SES) covers high level managerial and supervisory positions (Basics of Federal Government Jobs, 2006). The Federal government has recognized the need for improved methods to track and support a more diverse workforce than in years past. According to an

18 OPM report to the Congress in 2002 women in the Federal government represented 69% but when that number was broken down into grade-levels a decline starting at the GS-5-8 level at 66.7% slipped to 25.1% at the SES level (FEORP, 2002). Agencies can bridge the gap by taking advance of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Graduate School that offers various leadership programs. The USDA sponsored Aspiring Leader Program (ALP)

prepares federal employees at the GS 5-7 levels for positions as team leaders, supervisors, and managers. The Executive Leadership program (ELP) provides individuals at the GS 11-13 levels who have little or no supervisory experience residential training, developmental work experiences and exposure to help potential leaders move to a higher level. The Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program (SESCDP) is another program that VA uses. SES represents executive level positions which serve in the key positions just below the top Presidential appointees. SES members are the major link between these appointees and the rest of the Federal work force. They operate and oversee nearly every government activity in approximately 75 Federal (OPM, 2006). Qualified applicants within civil

service at the GS-14 and 15 level can apply and if accepted are provided with 12 24 months of intensive training, developmental experiences, formal courses and seminars. Due to the rigorous and competitive selection process SESCDP only accepts applications every 2 years. Enrollment into those programs is costly and usually requires the applicant to be nominated by their first-line supervisor.

19 Programs like ALP and SESCDP are valuable to organizations that understand the importance of giving future leaders opportunities to excel. Many government agencies have taken the initiative to develop and implement mentoring programs. Mentoring offers organizations as well as

employees the benefit of receiving appropriate training and the opportunity for organizations to maximize on those skills for the betterment of the organization. Mentors help to build professional identities, provide access to developmental opportunities and serve as source for professional feedback. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) developed a mentoring program in 1995. Once a year, there is an opportunity for employees to apply as mentees (chosen by lottery) and to volunteer as mentors; 2002 the program matched 33 women and 3 men mentees with mentors (FEORP, 2002). Although there are more women needed at the senior level in order to provide mentorship to other aspiring women, men can serve as mentors for women too. Management must keep in mind that establishing mentorships with women that some men may be apprehensive that the relationship could be perceived as sexual or that he may only want to serve as a mentor to women who have proven themselves professionally. These concerns like so many other issues in the workplace should be addressed head on in the workplace by educating and providing guidance when needed. The rate at which people are retiring and the increasing presence of women in the workforce is inevitable.

20 Although the representation of women at the SES level within VA was below average (17.2%) according to General Accounting Office (GAO) report, Enhanced Agency Efforts Needed to Improve Diversity as the Senior Corps Turns Over, the representation of women VA-wide is well over 50%. Analysts say that nearly half of the one-point-six million employees in the federal sector will be eligible to retire by 2008 (AKL, 2005). VA faces losing more than one third of their workforce due to retirement; therefore the opportunity for another generation of women to reach senior-level positions is achievable.

21 CHAPTER III: METHODOLOGY

Introduction

The methodology used in this study was a tool to assist in assessing the effectiveness of the Task Forces recommendations. This chapter describes the research strategy, data collection methods, rational survey, and the method of analysis.

Chosen Typology

The chosen typology is a Program Evaluation.

Assumptions

This study assumes that the leadership within VA is committed to implementing the recommendations provided by the Secretarys Taskforce on the Employment and Advancement of Women in the Department of Veterans Affairs and that the Taskforce was effective increasing the number of women at the management and SES level within VA.

22

Research

The research focused primarily on the effectiveness of the Secretarys Task Force in bolstering the under representation of women in management and SES level positions within in VA. A data collection sheet was utilized to record statistical data of the number of women at the GS-13, 14, 15 and SES level within VAs central office. Written permission for the study was obtained from the Workforce Information System Team (WIST) director.

Data Collection

The following programmatic data was obtained from VAs Office of Human Resource Management and Labor Relations: Demographic data such as the number of number of men and women at the GS-13, 14, 15 and SES level. The purpose was to determine the number of men and women at each level for a 5-year period. Supporting documentation such as the Task Forces executive summary, business case, best practices, mission statement and VAs strategic plan were obtained. The purpose was to determine current initiatives, policies and procedures previously implemented.

23

Data Gathering Techniques As previously stated, a data collection sheet was used to obtain data necessary for this research. The targeted population was men and women within VAs Central Office (VACO) location, which encompasses 11 staff organizations and 5 staff offices. Historical data was extracted for a 5-year period from 2000 2005. The population was identified via VAs Personnel and Accounting Integrated Data System (PAID). Only this population was utilized; it numbered approximately 3,700 employees. The reason for selecting this population was because VACO had a better representation of all General Schedule (GS) and Senior Executive Service (SES) levels. The PAID system was utilized to extract the number of men and women at the GS 13, 14, 15 and SES level from 2000 -2005. The raw data was sorted on a data sheet. From that information percentages were calculated for each grade and a bar graph was used to graph frequencies for certain data in discrete groups. Each graphs title represented a Federal grade level. The grouped

data axis or the X-axis represented years 2000 2005 while the frequency data axis or Y-axis measured the number of men and women in each grouped data. There are two bars for each data group representing the number of men and women at that particular grade level at that time. Before data collection began, approval was obtained from the Office of Human Resources Management & Labor Relations (OHRM), Workforce

24 Information Systems Team (WIST) and the proper authorities within Central Michigan University. Trend analysis was used to analyze aggregate data over time. Each bar graph represented a grade level. Grade levels 13, 14, 15 and SES were used. Two bars were used to represent the number of men and women at a particular grade from 2000- 2005. The last bar graph represented only women and the grouped data contains 4 bars each representing a different grade at a specific time.

Data Analysis and Synthesis

As previously stated in Chapter I, the objective was to determine if the number of women increased based on aggregate trend data analysis after the Taskforces implementations. Grades that showed little or no increase for women in comparison to their male-counter parts were identified and used to develop recommendations for corrective action.

Reliability and Validity

When analyzing aggregate data it is important for the data source or system used to be valid and reliable. Organizations use human resources systems (HRIS) to input personnel information, actions and extract that data for reporting purposes. VA uses Personnel and Accounting Integrated Data System (PAID). PAID is valid for extracting specific personnel data for various types of human

25 resources reports and analyses but may lack some reliability due to human and system errors. Scope and Limitations

This study focused on the under-representation of women at the management and executive levels. The scope of the research focused on men and women within the Federal General Schedule (GS) at the GS-13, 14, 15 and SES within VACO for a five year time period. GS-15 and SES level positions carry supervisory responsibilities. Grade GS-13 and GS-14 may or may not carry supervisory responsibilities depending on the occupation and location. This study did not include management positions under wage grade (WG) or VAs Title 5 or 38 systems. The researcher had permission to request from WIST

specific personnel information from PAID.

26 CHAPTER IV: DATA ANALYSIS

Introduction

This chapter contains a summary of the collected data and its technical interpretation. It addressed the problem statement and the opportunities to improve the representation of women in management and executive level positions within VACO.

Demography

A data sheet was developed and used to sort historical data of over 3,700 VACO employees. The researcher focused on the number of men and women at grade levels GS-13, 14, 15 and SES. Only the population within VACO was utilized for this research. VACO encompasses 5 staff offices and 11 staff organizations. Objective

The objective of this research study was to discover if the recommendations provided by the Secretarys Task Force had an impact on increasing the representation of women at the management and SES level within the Department of Veterans Affairs Central Office (VACO).

27 Objective Questions

The following research questions covered this analysis by looking at the relevant data in the form of a statement.

1) Were new positions added from 2002 2005? 2) Was the increase of women 10% or more? 3) Is the gap between men and women narrower? 4) Is there a trend among all the grade levels collectively?

Analysis of Research Questions Supporting Project Objectives

The job positions analyzed consisted of four grade levels: GS-13, GS-14, GS-15 and SES. Grade level GS-13 represented a position with or without supervisory authority serving as a team leader or expert in their field. Grade level GS-14 represented a position with or without supervisory authority serving as a team leader the capacity of acting director. Grade GS-15 represented a position with supervisory authority serving as a service director. SES represented executive level positions that serve in key positions just below the top Presidential appointees. Each research question was addressed at each grade level. Question one addressed how adding new jobs may affect the data. Question two addressed the representation of women over time. Question three

28 addressed equity between men and women and question four addressed trends among the different grade levels. Graphs were used to represent the data. Using research questions as a premise to address trend and future projections were used as results for data analysis. The findings were identified and used to develop recommendations for corrective action. GS-13 Supervisory and Non-Supervisory. Research questions number one, two and three were associated with this grade level. Question 1 Were new positions added from 2002 2005. The number of new positions at this level increased 14%. In 2002 there were 1231 positions at the GS-13 level. By 2005 a total of 203 had been added to this grade level with women obtaining over 50% of those new positions. The number of added positions led to more opportunities being available and obtained by women. Question 2 Was the increase of women 10% or more. Women represented 47.8% in 2002. By 2005 women represented 48.7%. In a four year period the number of women increased by less than 1%. Although there was not a significant increase in the number of women, the starting percentages are well above 40%, which is an acceptable representation of women within the workforce. Question 3 Is the gap among men and women narrower . Women represented 47.8% while men represented 52.2% with a gap of 4.4% in 2002. Women represented 48.7% while men represented 51.3% with a gap of 2.6% in 2005. Although the gap decreased by a small amount overall equity among men and women at this grade level is high and continues to increase.

29

GS-13
800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 2002 2003 2004 2005 Men Women

642 589

697 612

686 649

735 699

Figure 3: Grade level 13 GS-14 Supervisor and Non-Supervisory. Research questions number one, two and three were associated with this grade level. Question 1 Were new positions added from 2002 2005. The number of new positions at this level increased 15%. In 2002 there were a total of 911 positions at the GS-14 level. By 2005 a total of 166 had been added to this grade level with women obtaining over 78% of those new positions. Although a slightly smaller number of positions were added at this grade level woman accounted for more than 75% of the new positions which demonstrated that women are taking advantage of opportunities afforded them. Question 2 Was the increase of women 10% or more. Women represented 36.4% in 2002. By 2005 women represented 42.98%. In a four-year period the number of women increased 6.5%. Although the increase was less than 10% the

30 increase the 2005 percentage is above 40%, which is an acceptable representation of women within the workforce. Question 3 Is the gap among men and women narrower. Women represented 36.44% while men represented 63.55% with a gap of 27.11% in 2002. Women represented 42.98% while men represented 57.01% with a gap of 14.03% in 2005. Although the gap was larger in 2002 by 2005 women had obtained more positions at this grade level, therefore narrowing the gap by 10% and increasing the equity.

GS-14
700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 2002 2003 2004 2005

579

587 397

616 460

614 463
Men Women

332

Figure 2: Grade level 14 GS-15 Supervisor. Research questions number one, two and three were associated with this grade level. Question 1 Were new positions added from 2002 2005. The number of new positions at this level increased 10%. In 2002 there were a total of 347 positions at the GS-15 level. By 2005 a total of 42 had been added to this grade level with women obtaining over 59% of those new positions. Although less than 50 new positions were

31 added in a four year period, the workforce for this grade level is half the size of a GS-14 workforce yet, woman still obtained more than 50% of the new positions. Question 2 Was the increase of women 10% or more. Women represented 29.97% in 2002. By 2005 women represented 33.16%. In a four-year period the number of women increased 3.2%. As the grade level increases the number of opportunities decrease considerably therefore women are not represented with higher percentages to begin with but an increase is visible. Question 3 Is the gap among men and women narrower. Women represented 29.97% while men represented 70.02% with a gap of 40.05% in 2002. Women represented 33.16% while men represented 66.83% with a gap of 33.67% in 2005. At this level there is a smaller workforce and fewer positions available. With a gap of over 30% in 2005 it decreased 6.5% which is small but evidence that equity is increasing.

GS-15
300 250 200 150 100 50 0 2002 2003 2004 2005

243

255

257

260

104

119

118

129

Men Women

Figure 15: Grade level 15

32 SES Senior Executive level. Research questions number one, two and three were associated with this grade level. Question 1 Were new positions added from 2002 2005. In 2002 there were a total of 119 positions at the SES level. By 2005 the positions decreased to 118, therefore there were no new positions to obtain. The numbers of positions at this level are more constant with few opportunities for newly created positions. Question 2 Was the increase of women 10% or more. Women represented 17.64% in 2002. By 2005 women represented 23.72%. In a four year period the number of women increased by 6.08%. Women are not represented with higher percentages at this level but an increase of 6% shows a steady trend for women possibly representing 30% of the SES workforce by 2009. Question 3 Is the gap between men and women narrower. Women represented 17.64% while men represented 82.35% with a gap of 64.71% in 2002. Women represented 23.72% while men represented 76.27% with a gap of 52.55% in 2005. Although the gap is larger than any other grade level the gap decreased 10% over a four-year period and despite the smaller workforce and a position being eliminated the equity increased.

33

SES

100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

98

95

88

90

Men Women

21

24

27

28

2002

2003

2004

2005

Figure 4: SES level

Women at each grade level. Research question four is associated with trends among the grade levels. Question 4 Is there a trend among all the grade levels collectively. As the grade level increases the number of positions decreases. The percentage of women at one particular grade level continued to increase from year to year but the percentage of women at a particular grade level decreased as the grade increased. There is more equity at the GS-13 and GS-14 grade level and transitioning from the GS-14 to the GS-15 level appeared to pose the most difficulty for women with a 9.8% decrease in 2005.

34

Women

700 600 589 500 400 300 200 100 0

612

649 460

699

463

397 332 129 28


2005

GS-13 GS-14 GS-15 SES

104 21
2002

119 24
2003

118 27
2004

Figure 5: All grade levels for women Figure 6, 7, 8 provide a summary of research questions one through four for each grade level. Conclusions and recommendations will be addressed in Chapter 5.
Were new positions added from 2002 2005?

2002 1231 911 347 119

2005 1434 1077 389 118

Positions 203 166 42 -1

GS-13 GS-14 GS-15 SES

35

Figure 6: New positions


Was the increase in the number of women 10% or more?

2002

2005

% increase

GS-13 GS-14 GS-15 SES

47.84% 36.44% 29.97% 17.64%

48.74% 42.98% 33.16% 23.72%

>1% 6.54% 3.19% 6.08%

Figure 7: Percentage increase


Is the gap between men and women narrower?

2002

2005

Gap decrease

GS-13 GS-14 GS-15 SES

4.4% 27.1% 40.1% 64.7%

2.6% 14.0% 33.7% 52.6%

1.8% 13.1% 6.4% 12.1%

36 CHAPTER V: SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMEDATIONS

Summary

The intent of this research was to discover if the Secretarys Taskforce on the Employment and Advancement of women was effective. The analysis examined demographic data and aggregate data targeting VAs Central Office location. Historical data was extracted to research grade levels GS-13, 14, 15 and SES over a five year time period. This program evaluation demonstrated that the Secretarys Taskforce was effective by providing recommendations that increased the representation of women at the management and SES levels within VACO. After analysis of the data results and research questions, the number of jobs and women at each grade level increased and the gap between men and women decreased from 2002 2005.

Conclusions

After reviewing the data collected in the program evaluation, it is concluded that the Secretarys Taskforce was effective in increasing the number of women at the management and SES level within VACO. There were some assumptions made before the study was conducted. This study assumes that the leadership within VA is committed to implementing the recommendations provided by the

37 Secretarys Taskforce on the Employment and Advancement of Women in the Department of Veterans Affairs and that the Taskforce was effective increasing the number of women at the management and SES level within VA.

Recommendations

Several recommendations can be drawn from this study. Although an initial study was done, a more in depth study should be conducted to monitor and evaluate spikes and declines over a period of time. Data supporting this type of study should be extracted and reviewed on an annual basis and researched and analyzed to develop strategies to addresses weaknesses every two years over a five-year period. To understand gender disparity within VA it is would be necessary to broaden the scope of the study to include demographics such as occupation, education, location and other grade levels under different pay systems. Conducting another study would also give those in senior leadership positions concrete data that current policies and programs have been effective increasing diversity or that those efforts need to be reevaluated, updated or eliminated to support the organizations commitment to diversity excellence.

38 References Albrechtsen, J. (2004). Discrimination Divas. Review Institute of Public Affairs. Jolimont, 56(3), 12-13. Retrieved December 15, 2004, from ABI/INFORM Global database. AKL, A. (2005). The Age Wave: Americas Retiring Workforce. Retrieved June 21, 2006, at http://voanews.com/english/archive/2005-08-03voa8.cfm?renderforprint=1&pageid=161524. Basics of Federal Government Jobs. (n.d). Retrieved July 5, 2006, at http://www.allfederaljobs.com/federalguide.htm. Bernstein, A. (2004, June 14). Womens Pay: Why the Gap Remains a Chasm. Business Week, 3887, p. 58. Retrieved December 10, 2004, from ABI/INFORM Global database. Closing the Gap Amidst Ongoing Discrimination; Women and Economic Disparities. (2003). Multinational Monitor, 24(5), 25. Retrieved December 14, 2006, from ABI/INFORM Global database. Department of Labor. (2005). Quick Stats 2005. Retrieved June 8, 2006 at http://www.dol.gov/wb/stats/main.htm. Henderson, R.I. (2003). Compensation Management in a Knowledge-Based World (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Hessaramiri, H., & Kleiner, B. (2001). Explaining the Pay Disparity between Women and Men in Similar Jobs. The International Journal of Sociology And Social Policy, 21(8-10), 37-53. Retrieved December 15, 2004, from ABI/INFORM Global database. Ingkapattanakul, W. & Kleiner, B. (2001). New Developments concerning Discrimination in Government. Equal Opportunities International, 20, 12-19. Retrieved December 16, 2004, from ABI/INFORM Global database. Keller, R. (2005). Women in Leadership; Firm initiatives drive steady climb in numbers. CPA Practice Management Forum, 1(10), 3-7. McDowell, J.M., Singell. L.D. & Ziliak, J.P. (1999). Cracks in the Glass Ceiling: Gender and Promotion in the Economic. The American Economic Review, 89, 392-396. Retrieved December 16, 2004, from ABI/INFORM Global database.

39 Mitra, A. (2003). Access to Supervisory Jobs and the Gender Wage Gap among Professionals. Journal of Economic Issues, 37, 1023. Retrieved December 10, 2004, from ABI/INFORM Global database. Newman, M. A., & Guy, M. (2004). Womens Jobs Mens Jobs: Sex Segregation and Emotional Labor. Public Administration Review, 64, 289-298. Retrieved December 2, 2004, from ABI/INFORM Global database. Office of Personnel Management. (2006). Federal Civilian Workforce Statistics: The Fact Book. (2005 Edition). Washington, DC: U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Smithson, J., Lewis, S., Cooper, C., & Dyer, J. (2004). Flexible Working and The Gender Pay Gap. Work Employment and Society, 18, 115-135. Retrieved December 7, 2004, from ABI/INFORM Global database. Thin on Top! Why Men earn more and get Promoted Faster. (2002). Career Development International, 7, 190-192. Retrieved December 15, 2004, from ABI/INFORM Global database. Todd, P., & Bird, D. (2000). Gender and Promotion in Academia. Equal Opportunities International, 19, 1-16. Retrieved December 16, 2004 from, ABI/INFORM Global database. U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Diversity Office. (2002). Federal Equal, Opportunity Recruitment Program Annual Report to the Congress. Washington, DC: U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Retrieved On July 6, 2006 at www.opm.gov/feorpreports/2005/feorp2005.pdf Originator/Internet. Yoo, G. (2003). Women in the Workplace: Gender and Wage Differentials. Social Indicators Research, 62, 367. Retrieved December 15, 2004, from ABI/INFORM Global database.

40 Appendix A VACO Data Sheet

DATA SHEET
GS-13 2000 195 183 378 48.4% 2001 637 578 1215 47.57% 2002 642 589 1231 47.84% 2003 697 612 1309 46.75% 2004 686 649 1335 48.61% 2005 735 699 1434 48.74% Men Women TOTAL % Women

GS-14 2000 161 118 279 42.29% 2001 534 289 823 35.11% 2002 579 332 911 36.44% 2003 587 397 984 40.34% 2004 616 460 1076 42.75% 2005 614 463 1077 42.98%

Men Women TOTAL % Women

GS-15 2000 92 48 140 34.28% 2001 237 89 326 27.30% 2002 243 104 347 29.97% 2003 255 119 374 31.81% 2004 257 118 375 31.46% 2005 260 129 389 33.16%

Men Women TOTAL % Women SES

Men Women TOTAL % Women

2000 26 7 33 21.21%

2001 95 21 116 18.10%

2002 98 21 119 17.64%

2003 95 24 119 20.16%

2004 88 27 115 23.47%

2005 90 28 118 23.72%

41 Appendix B VACO Targeted Grade Level Data GS 13, 14 AND 15 POSITIONS HELD 2000 THRU 2005 CENTRAL OFFICE ONLY JOB NAME=PT06083 GENDER M F 195 161 92 637 534 237 642 579 243 679 587 255 686 616 257 735 614 260 183 118 48 578 289 89 589 332 104 612 397 119 649 460 118 699 463 129

YEAR 2000

GRADE 13 14 15 13 14 15 13 14 15 13 14 15 13 14 15 13 14 15

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

42

Appendix C VACO SES Data SES POSITIONS HELD 2000 THRU 2005 JOB NAME=PT06075 YEAR GENDER M

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005

26 95 98 95 88 90

7 21 21 24 27 28