Glass Walls and Glass Ceilings: Women’s Representation in State and Municipal Bureaucracies
Margaret Reid, Brinck Kerr, Will Miller
In "Glass Walls and Glass Ceilings," political science professors Margaret Reid, Brinck Kerr and Will Miller examine the distribution of women and men in state and municipal administrative and professional positions by agency and over time to assess two factors. First, whether agency policy missions are associated with barriers; and second, whether, relative to white women, African-American women and Latinas have claimed more managerial positions in public-sector agencies.
Drawing from a large data set provided by the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the authors find continued patterns of under-representation for women in police, fire, streets/highways, utilities, transportation, community development and parks departments. However, they report greater and growing representation of women in agencies traditionally populated by women such as health, welfare and other social services agencies.
The research also reveals that white women, relative to their numbers in the population, are better representated in the upper echelons of bureaucracy than African-American women and Latinas. The researchers’ analysis suggests that the employment prospects of Latinas in management are particularly unlikely to improve over the next several years.