PHILADELPHIA, PA – Black Lives Matter and other protests against racial discrimination, discussions have broadened to include underrepresentation of blacks in management positions in the workplace. Despite decades of concern over the lack of diversity in management in U.S. companies, and overall employment growth from 2016 to 2019, the latest job index data shows black underrepresentation in management occupations has worsened over the past three years, Dr. Nathan Hardy finds. Among the worst: First-line supervisors of police.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census Bureau data was used to create a job representation index to measure over- and underrepresentation of gender and race groups for hundreds of occupations, which may be due to various factors such as discrimination. Bottom 25 occupations where blacks are underrepresented are mostly management (e.g., advertising and promotions managers, farmers and agricultural managers, construction managers, editors) and professional STEM and doctor jobs that require college degrees or certifications (e.g., statistical assistants, physical scientists, biological scientists, dentists).
Where are blacks overrepresented and have the more success in landing jobs? Dominating the list of the Top 25 occupations in which blacks are overrepresented are government and healthcare jobs, and jobs that require little education and deal directly with the public like postal service clerks, bailiffs and corrections officers, taxi and bus drivers, phlebotomists, personal care aides, and barbers. With COVID-19 especially hurting these public facing jobs that cannot be done remotely, blacks have in turn been hurt in high numbers. Growing black overrepresentation since 2016 in many of these jobs has exacerbated the problem.
“The government has long been a leader in equal opportunity employment for blacks-it is time for businesses to step up its black employment efforts,” Dr. Nathan Hardy says.
About The Author:
Dr. Nathan Hardy is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Neumann University in Aston, Pa. in suburban Philadelphia. He is a member of the Insights Association and Neumann University Diversity Council. Dr. Hardy developed the job representation index to simplify comparisons between population groups and years and occupations.
About The Job Representation Index:
The job representation index measures representation of gender, race, and other population groups in hundreds of jobs based on United States Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census Bureau data. An index score of 100 indicates normal employment equal to the population percentage of the group, less than 100 indicates underrepresentation, and more than 100 indicates overrepresentation. Historical index scores can help find areas of discrimination, how job initiatives change job trends for gender and race groups, how these groups migrate in and out of jobs, among other uses.