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MANAGEMENT UPDATE.

MONEY WOES FOR WOMEN IN PUBLIC SERVICE

Even as state and local governments reach out to attract more young people to public service, they face a particular challenge when it comes to women 35 and under.


According to a new research brief by MissionSquare Research Institute, only 23% of women working in the public sector feel very financially secure. Some 43% of men felt that way. The gap is alarming and is buttressed by other findings from the study:


  • Only 8% of women consider their salary very competitive, in contrast to 19% of men.

  • Just 15% of women view benefits as very competitive, while 30% of men believe that to be the case. 

  • 46% of women worried that they were unprepared to deal with an unexpected expense of $1,000 or more.

  • 33% of women were concerned about paying back their student loans, compared to 20% of men.



The report didn’t analyze whether these issues for younger women were driven by the reality of their pay and benefit levels or simply their perceptions. But perceptions are enough to make a big difference.


According to Gerald Young, MissionSquare Research Institute Senior Research Analyst, "Understanding these gender-specific financial attitudes is crucial for government leaders aiming to attract the next generation of public service employees. Women in the survey expressed notable differences in financial concerns and perceptions of employer benefits. Jurisdictions that work hard to understand and meet the specific needs of workers under 35 will gain a long-term competitive advantage in workforce development and retention."

This report was based on a nationally representative online survey of 1,004 state and local government employees aged 35 and under, conducted by Greenwald Research.


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