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FedSmith.com Users Think Racism is a Problem in the Federal Workplace

Reports of racial tensions seem to be on the rise in America today. We asked our users if they see racial biases inside of the agencies where they work, and the majority of the responses we got say that racism is a problem and that EEO offices are not helping to eliminate it.

It seems that in America today, the topic of race comes up in various ways on a regular basis from riots in American cities to allegations that a police force discriminates against a racial group to comments from the president on the issue on various occasions. And, according to FedSmith.com users, these racial tensions carry over into their federal workplaces as well.

We asked our users if they see racism inside of the agencies where they work. The majority of the respondents indicated that these biases are indeed pervasive in the federal workplace.

We asked three different questions about racial bias in the federal workplace, and in each case respondents answered in the affirmative, sometimes overwhelmingly so.

When asked if they see racial tension inside of their agency workplaces, 55% of respondents said they do see racial tensions, and 60% of respondents said that they or somebody they know had been discriminated against because of race. Respondents left no doubt that they think racial bias influences hiring and promotions in agencies – 74% said it does.

An even more overwhelming response came with regards to EEO offices. We asked users if they think having EEO offices helps to eliminate racism in the federal government and 80% said they do not help.

Respondents were also pessimistic with regard to race relations in America today. 47% said it is worse today than in the past, 30% said it’s about the same today as in the past, and only 23% said it’s better today.

The results vary even more widely when broken down by the races of the respondents. The table below shows responses in the affirmative for each question as it was answered by each ethnic group.

Question Black White Hispanic Asian Native American Other
Do you see racial tension inside of your agency workplace? 76% 48% 60% 73% 54% 48%
Do you think racial biases influence hiring/promotion in the federal workplace? 90% 69% 81% 88% 70% 64%
Have you or someone you know been discriminated against in your agency workplace because of race? 81% 53% 72% 69% 63% 51%
Do you think having EEO offices helps to eliminate racism in the federal government? 22% 20% 19% 22% 16% 16%

Thanks to everyone who took the time to share their responses for this survey.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.

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