Commission on Human Rights
Release of The Status of Minorities and Women in State Government Report
LEXINGTON – The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights (KCHR) released a new report at the October Commission meeting held yesterday at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.
The Status of Minorities and Women in State Government analyzes state employee data that the Kentucky Personnel Cabinet shares with the KCHR. The report provides a glance at the progress of the largest employer in Kentucky with regard to Affirmative Action and equality in pay.
For the past 30 years, the commission has published research reports dealing with equality issues in order to assist officials and the public, and to raise awareness. The KCHR governing statute, The Kentucky Civil Rights Act (KRS 344), mandates the production of such reports.
“While significant progress has been made in utilizing minorities and women in the state workforce,” said KCHR Executive Director John J. Johnson, “we still have a journey ahead in order to reach equality, and this is a goal we can achieve,” he said.
Governor Ernie Fletcher revised the state’s minority Affirmative Action goal from 7 to 10 percent in 2005. He later said, “The world is dynamic and ever-changing, (and) Kentucky must rely upon the strength of its diversity to be able to compete in a global society.”
The report addressed three issues for full-time state employees: gender, race/ethnicity, and salary. The data presented in this report covers the period ending January 2007.
Minorities constituted 9.28 percent of the entire state government workforce, which consisted of 30,923 people as of January 2007.
The breakdown of minority employees was as follows: 8 percent were African Americans, 0.42 percent were employees who identified their race as “Other;” 0.37 percent were Asian Americans, 0.35 percent were Hispanics, and 0.16 percent were American Indians.
The Environment and Public Protection Cabinet (EPPC) and the Commerce Cabinet fell below the goal and had the lowest minority employment in all cabinets. The EPPC and Commerce Cabinet had only 6.01 percent and 6.18 percent minority employment, respectively. The largest employer of minorities was the Health and Family Services Cabinet. It exceeded the 10 percent minority hiring goal with 1,057 minority employees, which was 13.79 percent of its workforce.
The state’s Female Hiring Goal is 52.42 percent. Women accounted for 51.23 percent of the total state government workforce. Five cabinets out of 10 reached the female hiring goal: Health and Family Services, Personnel, Education, General Government, and Economic Development.
Women accounted for the majority of the workforces in the Health and Family Services, Personnel, and Education cabinets.
Health and Family Services had 79.83 percent or 6,119 females; Personnel had 76.89 percent or 163 females; and, Education had 70.16 percent or 1,441 females.
The employer that fell shortest of its female hiring goal was the Transportation Cabinet, which employed only 19.72 percent or 932 females. Three cabinets, Environment and Public Protection, Commerce, and Justice and Public Safety had 40 percent women.
In the ten state cabinets combined, the average male salary was higher than the female by 15.75 percent.
In three cabinets, Environment and Public Protection, Economic Development, and Education, the average male salary was higher than the female salary by a gap that ranged anywhere from 20 percent to 30 percent.
In General Government, with its 35 departments/commissions/boards, the average male salary was higher than the female salary by 19.76 percent, yet, women accounted for 62 percent of its workforce.
The gap in salary was minimal in the Health and Public Services Cabinet; the average male salary was higher than the female salary by only 3.76 percent. However, women employees in the Health and Public Services Cabinet accounted for 80 percent of its total workforce.
Among racial/ethnic groups, the average White salary was the highest in each of the 10 cabinets. The average White salary in the ten cabinets averaged out to be 0.42 percent higher than employees who identified themselves as “Other;” 10.83percent higher than the average salary of African American employees; 11.67 percent higher than Asian American employees; 15.96 percent higher than American Indian employees; and 16.86 percent higher than Hispanic employees.
The full report is available online at: http://www.kchr.ky.gov/reports/reports.htm