Women Leave U.S. Coast Guard at Higher Rates Than Men; More Equitable Personnel Policies Could Help Narrow Gap
Mar 29, 2019
This report documents the results of a study designed to identify the root causes of female attrition in the active-duty Coast Guard. The study analyzed trends in retention data and conducted focus groups with over 1,100 active-duty Coast Guard members. The report describes key retention factors identified through these analyses and provides recommendations for addressing identified barriers to Coast Guard female retention.
Identifying Barriers to Female Retention
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The U.S. Coast Guard aims to attract, recruit, and retain a workforce from all segments of American society. Currently, however, women leave the active-duty Coast Guard at higher rates than men. This report documents the results of a mixed-methods study designed to help identify the root causes of female attrition in the active-duty Coast Guard. The study conducted a statistical analysis of Coast Guard personnel data to examine gender differences in retention trends and whether certain career and personnel characteristics could help explain the gender gap in retention. The study also conducted 164 focus groups with 1,010 active-duty Coast Guard women to better understand potential barriers to female retention; 27 focus groups with 127 active-duty men were also conducted to help identify retention factors that resonate with both men and women and those factors that may be unique to women. Based on the study findings, the report provides recommendations to help mitigate identified barriers and improve female retention within the Coast Guard.
Trends in the Retention of Women Across the Military and in the Civilian Workforce
Focus Group Findings on Key Retention Factors
Quantitative Findings on Gender Differences in Retention
Summary of Previous Studies on Women in the Coast Guard
Overview of Focus Group Participants
Focus Group Protocols
Qualitative Coding Approach and Coding Guide
Detailed Description of Data and Quantitative Methods
Detailed Regression and Decomposition Results
Exploratory Analysis of Weight and Body Fat Standards
This research was sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard Office of Diversity and Inclusion and conducted within the Strategy, Policy, and Operations Program of the Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center (HSOAC), a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) operated by the RAND Corporation under contract with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.