Diversity by the numbers: Changes in state and local government workforces 1980-1995

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The tools used to diversify workforces in state and local governments have come under attack and, in at least one state, have been rescinded by voter initiative. The current backlash against these policies begs the question of whether diversification has occurred, and, if so, how the workforce has changed. In this study, we examine demographic changes in the composition of state and local bureaucracies from 1980 to 1995, looking specifically at the share of representation of both women and men as well as of African Americans and whites. We find significant gains have been made by a combination of white and, especially, black women. Overall, as we enter the next decade, we find a state and local government workforce that is moving towards a more equal gender split.


Affirmative action programs; Civil service; Diversity in the workplace; Local government; State governments


American Politics | Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation | Policy History, Theory, and Methods | Political Science | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Public Policy


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