New data reveals that qualified Black females are 58% less likely to be hired for a government job than their White male counterparts, according to new research from Governmentjobs.com, the leading public sector job board. Based on an analysis of over 17 million applications over a two-year time period, the data identifies disparities throughout the hiring process by race, ethnicity, and gender. The goal of the report is to increase awareness of the inequities and spur change.

While diverse candidates are well-represented in government, the 2021 Diversity in Public Sector Hiring Report reveals that Black candidates must apply at a significantly higher rate than any other racial group to maintain that representation. Despite constituting 28% of applications, only 18% of public sector hires are Black.

The most significant drop-off is prior to the interview stage. Black females who are qualified for positions (referred to as “eligible” in the report) were 39% less likely to be offered an interview than their White male counterparts.

However, the report does offer some bright spots. Key findings include evidence for how government agencies can improve equitable hiring practices. Hiding personally identifiable information on applications during the early screening process and using a scoring rubric in interviews have proven to reduce the possibility of conscious or unconscious bias due to race, ethnicity, and gender.

Black females were 26% more likely to be interviewed when the hiring party did not have access to the candidate’s personally identifiable information (PII), and therefore could not prejudge them by their name, the neighborhood they lived in, or the college they attended. The increase in interviews led to a 33% increase in hiring.

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