Diversity at a Glance: Health Care and Social Assistance
Authors: Keli Wilson, M.A. and Jon Geier, J.D.
This installment of DCI’s exploration of diversity benchmarks focuses on the employment profile within the Health Care and Social Assistance sector (NAICS 62), and how it compares to the overall labor force demographic employment rates.1 The Health Care and Social Assistance sector covers a variety of health care facilities that employ medical professionals (e.g., doctors, dentists, nurses), as well as a larger group of supporting para-professional and service employees.2 Thus, with the exception of the medical professionals, a substantial portion of employees in the Health Care and Social Assistance sector do not require educational credentials. This is a similar comment we made for the Transportation and Warehousing sector. 3
As with prior releases, the chart below displays the ratio of representation within the Health Care and Social Assistance sector to the representation in the overall labor force. The chart presents the results in a standardized way by setting the representation in the general labor force to 100%. As an example of how to interpret these comparisons, a ratio of 28% for Hispanic men indicates that the percentage of that demographic group employed in the Health Care and Social Assistance sector is 28% of the average Hispanic men represented in the general labor force. As a reminder, the results are ordered from the highest to the lowest and DCI is only reporting on groups where the representation is greater than 2%.
The diversity profiles of the Health Care and Social Assistance sector and the Transportation and Warehousing sector are contrasted images of each other when comparing the gender results. This is interesting given they both include large numbers of employees not requiring educational credentials. In the Health Care and Social Assistance sector women of all race/ethnic groups far exceed their average in the general labor force and men of all race/ethnic groups fall below their average. In fact, DCI found underrepresentation, using practical significance measures, for the Hispanic population and men of all race/ethnic groups.4 In the Transportation and Warehousing sector, by sharp contrast, men of all race/ethnic groups are well above the general labor force average and women of all race/ethnic groups are below that average.
Also notable is the race/ethnic group with the largest ratio comparison. For example, Black women have a ratio of 204% in the Health Care and Social Assistance sector; whereas Black men have the largest ratio of 212% in the Transportation and Warehousing sector. As with any comparison to the labor force average, it is essential to consider the industries that comprise that sector. Notwithstanding the fact that the participation of Black, Asian, and White employees in the Health Care and Social Assistance sector are at or above their average in the general labor force, and Hispanic employees are below that average, there is a striking gender gap pattern parallel to the Transportation and Warehousing sector. Whether due to self-selection or not, the front-line workers in the Health Care and Social Assistance sector are a highly female workforce. To increase their diversity figures in this sector, companies need to be creative in identifying strategies to attract and recruit more men.
In order to understand an employer’s organizational diversity, it is critical to identify useful benchmarks to make employment comparisons and, although there are advantages and disadvantages to many sources, the NAICS’ sector benchmark is useful for a high-level comparison. DCI can assist the industries covered by the Health Care and Social Assistance sector with more refined benchmarks to identify and mitigate potential employment barriers.
1 For purposes of these initial and high-level analyses, we use the 2-digit NAICS code level in the EEO 2018 EEO Tabulation (5-year ACS data) released by the United States Census Bureau to identify employer sectors.
2 Here is a list of the 18 industry groups included in the Health Care and Social Assistance sector: Offices of Physicians; Offices of Dentists; Offices of Other Health Practitioners; Outpatient Care Centers; Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories; Home Health Care Services; Other Ambulatory Health Care Services; General Medical and Surgical Hospitals; Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals; Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals; Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities); Residential Intellectual and Developmental Disability, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Facilities; Continuing Care Retirement Communities and Assisted Living Facilities for the Elderly; Other Residential Care Facilities; Individual and Family Services; Community Food and Housing, and Emergency and Other Relief Services; Vocational Rehabilitation Services; and Child Day Care Services.
3 Other installments in this series covered the overall labor force, the Finance and Insurance sector, and the Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services sector.
4 The 80% test is a commonly used method when comparing employment to availability to identify practical underutilization.
Meet The Authors
Keli Wilson, M.A.
Director, Workforce Equity
Jon Geier, J.D.
Principal Consultant, Workforce Equity
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