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Women and Minorities Are More Likely to Hold Managerial Positions Than Ever Before

Women and Minorities Are More Likely to Hold Managerial Positions Than Ever Before

By Jennifer Memmolo

A new study by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found that women and minorities are more likely than ever to hold manager-level positions in the workplace.

The report, American Experiences vs. American Expectations, says that over the past 50 years, the number of women in professional workplaces has shot up from 14 percent to more than 53 percent in 2013 alone (h/t to the Peggy Olsons of the world).

The study is an updated version of a 1977 EEOC study, Black Experiences vs. Black Expectations that measured racial inequality along similar variables among African-Americans in the workplace. In 1966, the EEOC required all companies with 100 or more employees to report on their diversity hires (which is why you've seen a step asking you to self-identify your gender/race if you've ever applied for a job online).

While the progress is encouraging, there's still much work to be done. First of all, the study measured increases between 1966 and 2013; considering the amount of social and political change that women and minorities have achieved over the past 50 years, there should absolutely be some expected change. But the numbers themselves show that Americans need more. Women and minorities are more likely to find themselves stuck in lower-paying service industry professions — much more so than white males. In 2013, Hispanics and African Americans accounted for nearly half of all service workers but only 13 percent of professionals, and only 14 percent of manager-level workers.

"Despite notable progress in diversity and inclusion in the workplace over the past half century, this report highlights continued job segregation by race and gender, with women and people of color disproportionately occupying lower paying positions," said EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang in an accompanying press release.

With more and more companies (in addition to the government) making diversity a hiring priority, there's a great chance that the next EEOC report will reflect a very different landscape in a few years' time — and that's a good thing.

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Photo Credit: Michael H via Getty Images