AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
Despite new comprehensive policies within local-government jurisdictions for public-sector employment, genuine and substantive EEO failed to accrue to Hispanic women (Latinas) as they had to other minority women in local-government employment (National Council of La Raza [NCLR], February 1992, December 1993). Given these traditional responsibilities of elected officials, coupled with their access to 25 years of detailed information from periodic AA progress reports and documentation, it is both reasonable and consistent to attribute the failure or success of AA programs to the jurisdiction's elected governing body.
Explanation of Terms
Latino-Hispanic: The term Latino(s) is equivalent to the term Hispanic(s). Latina(s) refers to an Hispanic woman/women. Most government, demographic, educational, and labor-force data are still recorded using the term Hispanic(s), but the term Latino(s) is often preferred within the Latino-American community in California. Many Hispanic women prefer the term Latina(s)--a single term denoting gender as well as ethnicity (see Melvile, 1988).
For EE purposes classification as a Latino (or Latina) is first a matter of self-identification and secondly of social (or organizational) identification. In either instance, Latinos might include persons born in, or whose family lineage can be traced to origins in, Mexico, Central America, most countries of South America, the Caribbean Islands, and Spain. Latinos (or Hispanics) are members of an ethnic group or classification and may be of any race or religion (see Hero, 1992, pp. 2-4; Meier & Ribera, 1993, pp. 6-8; Melvile, 1988; Politics of Ethnic Construction, 1992).
Discrimination: The designation "discrimination" reflects the organizational and political behavior and philosophy leading to the chronic and acute under-utilization and underrepresentation of Latinas in management. It implies that these conditions, for Latino and Latina employees, are not the result of accident, chance, or ignorance of this employment condition on the part of county government's elected, appointed, and employed officials. In this regard the term conveys a sense of neglect, of a lack of official and organizational concerns, efforts, and accountability for correcting the problem.
Parity: Population representation (obtained from federal decennial population surveys) has been used as the parity standard in Los Angeles County since 1965. Parity refers to a work-force standard used in employment settings to determine equitable or reasonable representation. Parity may rely on a single measure or some combination of the following: (a.) representation in a defined population (census); (b.) representation in the adult civilian labor force (labor force availability); and (c.) representation in a specific occupational group (occupational availability). Population parity means that the percentage of each protected group in the defined work force should reflect the proportion of that group in the population of the defined jurisdiction.
An analysis of federal, state, and regional employment patterns reveal that Latinas, as legitimate benefactors of both gender and national origin protections, may be some of the most neglected and excluded recipients of this legislation's benefits. Data on women and Latinas in official and administrative (management) positions in local (state, county, municipal) government for the states with the highest Hispanic populations shows that not only are Latinas severely underrepresented as a proportion of all women in management but also that new hiring of Latinas to increase utilization and, therefore, equity is minimal (see Table 1). The majority of newly hired female managers were non-Latina.
Table 1 Latinas as a Percent of Women in Official and Administrative Positions in State and Local Government in 10 States with Highest Hispanic Populations
State % Population % Official & % New Hispanic Administrative Hires New Mexico 38.2 31.1 38.8 California 25.8 34.6 46.5 Texas 25.5 29.3 38.5 Arizona 18.8 25.2 32.0 Colorado 12.9 27.4 27.5 New York 12.3 35.6 45.4 Florida 12.2 32.3 34.9 Nevada 10.4 28.8 27.1 New Jersey 9.5 27.3 33.1 Illinois 7.9 28.7 36.6 State % Latina Latina New Official & Hires Administrative New Mexico 12.9 12.2 California 3.3 2.1 Texas 3.1 3.7 Arizona 2.8 2.6 Colorado 1.6 0.0 New York 2.4 3.2 Florida 1.9 1.8 Nevada 0.6 0.0 New Jersey 0.3 0.3 Illinois 0.5 1.1
Note: Data were extracted from EEOC reports that use "Official and Administrative" as the equivalent of "Executive Management and Management" positions, which is used by local governments. Compiled from data from Women in Public Service, Winter 1991/ 1992, Center for Women in Government, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, Albany, NY: State University of New York, University at Albany, and National Council of La Raza, February, 1992.
On a more regional level, within California itself, this phenomenon is especially evident when examining the available EEO reporting data for the seven counties comprising the Southern California Region (see Table 2). Each of these counties contains a significant Hispanic population, with five of them (each with populations of more than 1 million residents) being urban or metropolitan areas. Despite demographic differences between these contiguous counties, they each reveal similar results regarding the overall lack of equity or parity in local government for Hispanic employment in the general, for Hispanics in management positions, and specifically for Latinas in management positions. Neither the total size of the population (within any given county), the size of the aggregated local-government work force, nor the size of the Hispanic populations seems to determine equity for Hispanic or Latina representation on management levels.
Table 2 Southern California Seven-Century Region-1991: Population, Hispanic and Latina Representation in Local-Government Work Force
Counties & Number of Population No. Hispanic % Hispanic Local Gov't Employees (a) Southern CA (265,639) 17,138,848 5,361,834 31.3 Imperial (3,539) 109,303 71,935 65.8 Los Angeles (157,466) 8,863,164 3,351,242 37.8 Orange (28,488) 2,410,164 564,828 23.4 Riverside (18,028) 1,170,413 307,514 26.3 San Bernardino (16,414) 1,418,380 378,582 26.7 San Diego (32,520) 2,498,016 510,781 20.4 Ventura (9,184) 669,016 176,952 26.4 Counties & Number of % Hispanics in % Hispanics in Local Gov't Employees (a) Public Sector Management Southern CA (265,639) 22.3 11.3 Imperial (3,539) 50.7 23.9 Los Angeles (157,466) 20.1 13.3 Orange (28,488) 15.4 5.1 Riverside (18,028) 18.2 8.5 San Bernardino (16,414) 18.2 11.1 San Diego (32,520) 13.6 7.3 Ventura (9,184) 20.0 10.1 Counties & Number of Latinas as % of All Local Gov't Employees (a) Women Managers (b) Southern CA (265,639) 12.9 Imperial (3,539) 16.8 Los Angeles (157,466) 15.9 Orange (28,488) 5.1 Riverside (18,028) 7.9 San Bernardino (16,414) 12.3 San Diego (32,520) 6.4 Ventura (9,184) 9.3
Note: Aggregated work force (for each county and seven-county region) consists of all full-time, permanent local-government (noninstructional, civilian) employees (county government, municipalities, and special districts). "Hispanics" refers to both males and females; Latinas refers only to Hispanic women. Census and Hispanic population data from State of California, Labor Market Information for affirmative action Programs, 1993b; Sacramento, CA for each of the seven Southern California region counties. Aggregated local-government work-force data from special data runs from EEOC, 1991, State and Local Government Information (EEO-4) Survey, Washington, DC.
Local government has a dual responsibility to civil rights issues. As a government agency it must assure legal and equitable enforcement of civil rights mandates within its jurisdiction, and as an employer government is required to develop applicable EEO and AA programs to eradicate discrimination and underutilization in its own work force. This paper will show that in LACO, in spite of these government/employer requirements, and after 25 years of AA, Latinas still remain severely underutilized and underrepresented in the LACO government work force and at management levels.
The Problem Environment
In LACO--the nation's largest county--more than 3.4 million Hispanics represent more than 40 percent of the population. "The Hispanic population of LACO is greater than the total population of ail but four of the nation's largest metropolitan areas. By the year 2000 Hispanics (Latinos) in the Greater Los Angeles (seven county) region will represent over 50% of the projected total population of over 20.1 million" (Hispanic Policy Development Project [HPDP], 1990, p. 20). In practice, however, Latinas in LACO have received only minimal inclusion in EE benefits and guarantees. Latinas have been overlooked in AA efforts required to reduce and eliminate long-standing patterns of systemic and institutional ethnic and gender underutilization in the county's work force.
The underrepresentation of Latinas in management positions may be a permanent condition in county-government employment, a condition that, under current county-government EE practice and policy implementation, shows few signs of being redressed and even fewer indications of reform. In contrast, in the total county-government work force, and particularly in management positions, whites, major non-Latino minorities, and women (as a single gender category) are all either represented at or exceeding parity (as measured by the …