About the Center for Employment Equity

The UMass Center for Employment Equity (CEE) conducts research on workplace equity, disseminating results widely to scholars, the public, policymakers, agencies, and the media. In particular, our unique task will be to organize and disseminate data from the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. These data will allow employers to compare the race and gender composition of their workforce to other employers in the same industry and community to judge if they are lagging in hiring of minorities or women; community activists to identify the types of employers providing or failing to provide living wage jobs in their community; journalists to chart progress or regress in employment profiles; and citizens to identify industries in their communities that provide living wage jobs and have good records for hiring or women. The EEOC data have been largely inaccessible to researchers for decades, but the Center has developed a relationship with the EEOC and obtained access. A primary goal of the Center will be to democratize access to these data, while observing the EEOC’s strict confidentiality standards, and summarize the implications of these data for the U.S.’s movement toward equal opportunity in employment.

With support from the W.R. Kellogg Foundation, CEE is developing an online data portal to historical and contemporary data on discrimination charges and workplace employment composition. Our portal will make it possible for a job seeker to compare race or gender employment patterns in specific communities and industries, a journalist to know what changes have occurred in the race distribution of employees in local governments or the private sector, and allow employers worried that they were lagging in the employment of women in management to compare to other employers in their industry or locality.

Data-driven strategies are increasingly being used by activists, governments and news organizations to deepen community and civic engagement. We see the democratization of employment data as part of the larger process of building a more equitable and democratic America and envision this project contributing a radically new lens to the discussion of employment quality and equity.

Initial projects focus on:

• Reports on the firm level distribution of employment diversity among information technology firms.
• Reports ranking communities and industries in terms of their employment diversity along gender and race/ethnic dimensions.
• Reports on the incidence, location and content of sexual orientation/gender identity discrimination complaints to the EEOC.
• A study on the trajectories of workplace managerial representation for White men, White women, Black men, and Black women.
• A study on the influence of Office of Federal Contract Compliance audits on the employment diversity of federal contractor firms.