Minority Women Lag In Mngmt. In Financial Services

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The financial services industry trails other industries when it comes to minority women in upper-management positions, according to a new study by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

But the applicability of the findings to credit unions are questionable, as the study requires an institution to have at least 50 employees, a threshold below which many credit unions fall.

The study further found that of institutions with more than 50 employees, the percentage of black, Hispanic, Asian-American, and Native-American women in senior management is greater in banking than in other financial services and, other industries, but that the rate of promotion is lower in the financial industry, The EEOC study examined promotion rates for women of all ethnic groups in 50 key industries at year-end 2001.

According to the EEOC, in banking 13.6% of mid-level managers and 9.6% of top-level managers were minority women. For credit unions that qualified for the study, female minorities comprised 21% of all employees, 8% of officers/managers, 16% of professionals, and 26% of clerical positions.

The EEOC said that the racial/ethnic composition of employees-male and female-at credit unions reporting to the EEOC was: 73% non-Hispanic white, 11% African American, 10% Hispanic, and 6% Asian.

The study suggests several factors for why minority women have more difficulty in rising to higher positions in banks, including the notion that banks are trying to promote more women and more minorities, but may not necessarily be promoting minority women.

* Many minority women on track for promotions to management positions lost their jobs through mergers, acquisitions, and consolidations.

The EEOC said that it found at year-end 2001 that 25% of bank employees were white men, but they held 44.4% of management- level positions. Minority women held more than one-fifth of jobs, but less than one-tenth of executive positions.

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