Report: Why There May Be A Lack Of Minorities In Top-Level Economic Jobs

Why There May Be A Lack Of Minorities In Top-Level Economic Jobs

According to a report released last week by the Federal Reserve’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the central bank is having a hard time making their upper management workforce more diverse.

At the executive level, almost half of employees are white men. Two percent are Hispanic, ten percent are African-American and 41 percent are women.

The report hints that perhaps the lack of minorities in top-level economic government posts may be attributed to the dearth of qualified applicants, stating that:

"Despite some progress, the Board continues to have low minority representation in the economist job family. The Board hires a large number of Ph.D. economists, and the availability of minority candidates for these positions is low."

Certainly, the data may support this. For instance, a report by the National Science Foundation’s Survey of Earned Doctorates shows that of the 48,069 doctorate degrees awarded in 2010, only 2,727 of those were earned by self-identifying Hispanics. In other words, Latinos earned only 5.6 percent of the country’s Ph.Ds in 2010.

In that same year, 26,464 doctorate degrees were earned by Whites, 11,830 by Asians and 2,487 by Blacks.

However, the disparity is not that uncommon in federal government overall. According to a Wall Street Journal Blog by Kristina Peterson:

Across all levels, the composition of the board’s staff largely mirrors that of the federal government’s employees. In 2011, just under 46% of the board’s 2,274 employees were female, 26% were African-American and 4% were Hispanic. That’s roughly in line with the federal government, whose civilian work force in 2008 was 44% female, almost 18% black and nearly 8% Hispanic, according to the latest Census figures, which don’t include postal workers.

The Report to Congress on the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion is the first annual report by the newly-created office, which serves as a regulatory agency responsible for matters relating to diversity in management, employment and business activities at the Federal Reserve Board and 12 Federal Reserve Banks. It was formed under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.

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