Racial and Gender Diversity in State DOTs and Transit Agencies: Phase I Benchmark Scoping

Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 120/National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 585: Racial and Gender Diversity in State Departments of Transportation and Transit Agencies documents and analyzes racial and gender diversity in state departments of transportation (state departments of transportation (DOTs)) and transit agencies for purposes of establishing a baseline that reflects the current status of racial and gender diversity in state DOTs and transit agencies based on existing data. This report will be useful to Chief Administrative Officers of state DOTs, Chief Executive Officers of transit agencies, state DOT officials, transit officials, and other transportation professionals interested in workforce development. The United States of America is a diverse nation. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, minorities constitute about 30% of the population. Between 2002 and 2012, the number of minorities in the U.S. labor force is projected to increase faster than the number of whites (Occupational Outlook Quarterly, p. 28, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Summer 2004). Moreover, women's share of the labor force will also continue to increase, reaching 47.5% by 2012 (Minority Labor Review February 2004). The impact of these trends on the employment composition of some U.S. industries remains largely unknown. Despite the availability of many reports on workforce challenges facing the U.S. transportation industry, the representational data available on its employees by gender and race are limited. Such data are needed by state DOTs and transit agencies to assess the current diversity of their workforce; to establish a benchmark against which to measure and track efforts to recruit, promote, and retain a diverse workforce; and to identify successful practices being applied throughout the industry. The objectives of this project were to: 1) identify sources of existing data on the race and gender of employees of state DOTs, transit agencies, and contract employees of public transit agencies; (2) assess the quality of the data in terms of their comprehensiveness, validity, and reliability; (3) identify gaps discovered in the existing data and determine what additional data need to be collected in order to establish a credible benchmark; and (4) establish a baseline reflecting the current status of racial and gender diversity in state DOTs and transit agencies based on existing data. This report was prepared by Dr. Samuel Myers, Jr. and Lawrencina Mason Oramula, of University of Minnesota, Roy Wilkins Center for Human Relations and Social Justice. The research for this report consisted of a review of pertinent literature related to promoting, recruiting, and retaining a diverse workforce. Also, the research team collected information from the equal employment opportunity (EEO) files provided by the Federal Transit Administration and the Federal Highway Administration, and the research team developed and administered a web survey of state DOTs. The research revealed that the EEO data submitted on existing employees by transit agencies and state DOTs was incomplete and not comprehensive, making it challenging to establish a credible benchmark. This report provides a conceptual framework that addresses the type of data that is needed to establish a credible benchmark.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $50000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project J-06, Task 5

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Transit Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

    Center for Transportation Studies
    Minneapolis, MN  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Myers, Samuel

  • Start Date: 20050715
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20060530
  • Source Data: RiP Project 38786

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01549622
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project J-06, Task 5
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Jan 6 2015 1:00AM