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These Are the Obstacles for African-Americans in the U.S. Government

by Mar 14, 2013, 4:56 pm ET

eeocFederal agencies in the U.S. tend to recruit people from colleges with relatively low black populations. That’s one of the obstacles hindering African-Americans in the federal workforce, according to a new study from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Among the other issues, according to the report:

  • A lack of mentors and networking opportunities for senior management jobs.
  • Laws and regulations that aren’t enforced.
  • Unconscious biases and perceptions.
  • A lack of training; for example, fewer opportunities to be an “acting supervisor.”

The report, and recommendations for addressing the obstacles, are here.


This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to offer specific legal advice. You should consult your legal counsel regarding any threatened or pending litigation.

  • Tim Graves

    Just wanted to drop a note about the great article. It seems so common sense but people just don’t get it, especially in government. I should know, I was in that purgatory for the previous 3 years before I came here. I was just on a panel at an SMA event here in Chicago yesterday, and had similar conversations with over 65 recruiters and staffing professionals about veterans (my area of specialty). First, I was the only vet on the panel, and second I was awestruck by how complicated people wanted to make it.

    I guess since I work in the diversity space, it’s easy to forget that not everyone gets it. My boss calls it the 10/10/80 rule. 10% that get it. 10% that do it because Uncle Sam says they have to. 80% are trying to figure it out. Thanks for helping some of the 80% to figure it out. Like we said in the Navy, it ain’t rocket surgery.

    I invite you to check out my organization and what we are doing to help them figure it out as well. Our African-American professional networking site, was responsible for supplying the Department of State a majority of their African American candidates last year, so you may find it relevant.

  • Nancy Robin Gillman, MBA, SPHR

    I think we could write the same article for women even more so for Caucasian women, considered the lowest on the totem pole.