Glass Walls and Glass Ceilings: Women's Representation in State and Municipal Bureaucracies
Reid, Kerr, and Miller seek to redress the lack of systematic, generalizable research on women's representation in state and municipal bureaucracies by focusing specifically on the representation of female managers in high-level policy and decision-making positions in their agencies or departments. Their primary interest is in examining the distribution of women and men in state and municipal administrative and professional positions by agency and over time (from 1987 through 1997) in order to determine if, first, agency missions are associated with glass walls and glass ceilings, and, second, whether, relative to white women, African American women and Latinas have made progress in laying claim to a greater share of managerial positions in public-sector agencies.
Their analysis reveals a richly textured and complicated set of factors and interrelationships that vary widely across different policy areas, agency contexts, and levels of government. They show continued patterns of underrepresentation in agencies with regulatory and distributive policy commitments while showing some improvements in those agencies that tend to be traditionally populated by women, health, welfare, and social services, for example.