Black Females are 58% Less Likely to Be Hired in Government Than White Males: 2021 Diversity Report

by NEOGOV on March 19, 2021

EL SEGUNDO, Ca.; March 19, 2021 – As covered by The New York Times, new data reveals that qualified Black females are 58% less likely to be hired for a government job than their White male counterparts, according to new research from, the leading public sector job board. Based on an analysis of over 17 million applications over a two-year time period, the data identifies disparities throughout the hiring process by race, ethnicity, and gender. The goal of the 2021 diversity report is to increase awareness of the inequities and spur change.

While diverse candidates are well-represented in government, the 2021 Diversity in Public Sector Hiring Report reveals that Black candidates must apply at a significantly higher rate than any other racial group to maintain that representation. Despite constituting 28% of applications, only 18% of public sector hires are Black. 

The most significant drop-off is prior to the interview stage. Black females who are qualified for positions (referred to as “eligible” in the report) were 39% less likely to be offered an interview than their White male counterparts.

Chart: Recruitment by Stage

Recruitment by Stage: Black Females vs. White Males

However, the 2021 diversity report does offer some bright spots. Key findings include evidence for how government agencies can improve equitable hiring practices. Hiding personally identifiable information on applications during the early screening process and using a scoring rubric in interviews have proven to reduce the possibility of conscious or unconscious bias due to race, ethnicity, and gender. Black females were 26% more likely to be interviewed when the hiring party did not have access to the candidate’s personally identifiable information (PII), and therefore could not prejudge them by their name, the neighborhood they lived in, or the college they attended. The increase in interviews led to a 33% increase in hiring. 

To learn more about inequities in local government hiring and how Black men and women in general are also negatively impacted by bias, download a complimentary copy of the 2021 Diversity in Public Sector Hiring Report.

Or visit 

Chart: Applied % vs Hired % by Race or Ethnicity

Applied % vs. Hired % by Race or Ethnicity

Research Methodology

The research included in the report includes data collected from NEOGOV’s applicant tracking system that serves city, county, and state governments across the country. From the beginning of 2018 to the end of 2019, NEOGOV analyzed 16 million applicants by race and ethnicity and 17.4 million applicants by gender. Additionally, data was collected from a survey conducted by NEOGOV in September 2020 that included 2,700 minority job seekers who applied for public sector positions.


About and NEOGOV

Founded in 2001, is the most trafficked online job board dedicated to local, city, and state jobs in the public sector. Serving over 6,000 organizations, sister company NEOGOV is the leading provider of a comprehensive human capital management solution for the public sector, including an applicant tracking system. Designed exclusively for government agencies and educational institutions, NEOGOV’s suite of three integrated modules – Recruit, Develop, and Manage – provide a centralized cloud platform for managing the entire employee lifecycle, while maintaining the highest standards of compliance. More information at



Carol Mendelsohn

General Manager,



NEOGOV is the leading provider of an integrated HR, payroll, and talent management solution for the public sector. NEOGOV customers report increased employee productivity and engagement, time and cost savings, improved regulatory requirement compliance, and reduced paper processes, with a net result of better services for citizens. Serving over 7,000 organizations, NEOGOV provides intelligent HR for the public sector. More information at

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