ACRP’s recent Insight Event on Systemic Inequalities in the Airport Industry highlighted that, while many U.S. airports are striving to address diversity, equity, and inclusion, there remain considerable challenges. One key challenge is the lack of robust data. For example, analysis of demographic information (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity, career stage) of U.S. airport employees would provide valuable insight into women and minority participation in different airport occupations. The data could be used to highlight the areas of greatest concern and as benchmarks that could allow the industry to measure its progress over time.
Airports also would benefit from resources and tools that would help them address challenges such as recruitment, retention, promotion, and wage disparities for women and minorities. Some airports have had success implementing initiatives that aim to support their employees and close the gender and racial wage gaps in their organizations. A better understanding of those initiatives could motivate other airports to take similar steps.
The objectives of this research are: (1) to identify and evaluate the current state of women and minority representation among direct employees of U.S. airports, and (2) to use the information collected to develop resources and tools to address potential issues identified including, but not limited to, recruitment, retention, promotion, and wage disparity. At a minimum the research should produce the following:
- Report on the current state of women and minority representation among direct employees of U.S. airports. The status report should be based on a representative sample of U.S. airports. The report should include statistical analysis of data collected related to, and qualitative exploration of, at least the following topics:
- Representation in leadership positions;
- Demographic data on employees;
- Wage disparities;
- Representation across career tracks;
- Training and education of current employees;
- Access and availability of professional development;
- Opportunities for advancement; and
- Targeted current recruitment and retention strategies.
- Recommendations for improving the future collection, reporting, and analyzing of data on women and minority employment, including limitations and advantages for understanding equity in the workforce. The recommendations should also consider means of collecting, reporting, and analyzing data for other on-site employees not directly employed by the airport;
- Resources and tools to help airports track and monitor workforce equity;
- Resources and tools to increase the share of women and minority airport employees, advance their careers, and reduce wage disparity;
- Case study examples of best practices and lessons learned; and
- Executive summary.
The research plan should include, at a minimum, the following interim deliverables, for ACRP and panel review and approval:
- Literature review;
- Data collection and analysis plan that describes methods (e.g., surveys, focus groups, interviews, workshops), data sources (extant and original), data collection challenges, statistical techniques, and limitations to provide a representative sample of nationally aggregated workforce data for airports;
- Data collection status report midway through the effort providing response rate and initial statistics; and
- Interim report documenting the research effort and results of the project to date, including the final results of the data collection and analysis effort, candidate case studies (with rationale), and recommended next steps to complete the research.
The research plan should include, at a minimum, the following checkpoints with the ACRP project panel:
- Kickoff web meeting to be held within 1 month of notice to proceed;
- Web meeting to discuss and approve the data collection and analysis plan;
- Web meeting to discuss the data collection status report; and
- In-person interim report review meeting.
The final deliverables will include:
- Status report on women and minorities directly employed by U.S. airports;
- Recommendations for improving the future collection, reporting, and analyzing of data on women and minority employment;
- Resources and tools;
- Case studies;
- Executive summary;
- Technical report documenting the entire research effort and findings;
- Technical memo titled, “Implementation of Research Findings and Products”;
- Summary of Key Findings; and
- Further Recommended Research Memo.
STATUS: Proposals have been received in response to the RFP. The project panel will meet to select a contractor to perform the work.