Workforce Diversity in Federal Natural Resource Organizations: U of Minn 2022 Study

Thanks to Forrest Fleishman for sending us this University of Minnesota 2022 paper on the proportion of women and minorities in natural resources and other federal agencies.

Here is the article:

Natural resource management in the United States has long suffered from a lack of workforce diversity, with women and minorities generally underrepresented in natural resource work. Workforce diversity is especially important to federal natural resource organizations as major environmental employers and policy makers, as well as their legal obligation to ensure a representative federal workforce. This analysis examined workforce trends by gender (1998 to 2018) and race/ethnicity (2006 to 2018) for nine federal natural resources departments and agencies. Employee demographics were examined over time and within organizations, comparing them to the federal government’s total and civilian workforce. The results show that over the past two decades (1) federal natural resource organizations have suffered significant losses in personnel, in contrast to gains in the number of employees in the federal government as a whole and in the civilian workforce; (2) the percentage of women and minority employees in federal natural resource organizations, despite declining employee numbers; (3) Federal natural resource organizations had a lower percentage of women and minority workers than the federal government’s total and civilian workforce. and (4) gaps in the employment of women and minorities between federal natural resource organizations and the civilian labor force have generally remained stable or increased over time. Overall, the results indicate that federal natural resource organizations continue to achieve improvement rates compared to the federal government as a whole and the civilian workforce.

One of the problems I had with recruiting was that I couldn’t tell whether or not people would fall into the diversity category if they didn’t identify themselves. Checking their social media seems a bit tricky. Or trying to find out from the groups they’re involved in… a lot of non-diverse people are active in those groups. I felt that we should have a budget to hire detectives. This idea did not go over well. Anyway, reading the below report reminded me of those experiences.

For the NPS (and by extension, DOI), the percentage of workers in the younger age group (under 30 years of age) with unspecified race/ethnicity experienced a large increase since 2016. From 2006 to 2018, the number of young workers of unspecified race/ethnicity in the NPS increased from 1 worker to 463 workers (+462). This is in stark contrast to the numbers of minority and white youth workers in the NPS, which both declined over the 13-year period (-17 and -505, respectively) (Table 3). From 2015 to 2018, the percentage of white NPS employees decreased from 85% to 70%, while the percentage of minority NPS employees remained at 15. % (Figure 6), and 65 the percentage of NPS workers with unspecified race/ethnicity increased from 0% to 15%. Thus, in the younger age group of the NPS, workers of unspecified race/ethnicity primarily replace white workers during this period, rather than minority workers. Notably, the NPS youth workforce had an equal percentage of minority workers and workers of undeclared race/ethnicity in 2018 (both 15%). The only selected organizations where employees of unspecified race/ethnicity comprised more than 1% of the youth workforce over a 13-year period were FWS (2% in 2017 and 2018), NRCS (3% in 2009). and EPA (2% or more from 2007 to 2013, peaking at 5% in 2010). None of these agencies had more than 70 employees of non-specified race/ethnicity or more than 1,500 total youth employees in those years.


check it out.

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