Women and minorities held about 53% of management-level jobs at U.S. financial services companies in 2004, up from 48% in 1993.

Researchers at the U.S. Government Accountability Office have published those figures in a report on trends in management-level diversity and diversity initiatives in the financial services industry.

The researchers prepared the report at the request of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee.

One figure shows that white men held about 46% of managerial jobs at insurance companies in 2004. That compares with a share of 44% at banks and other credit institutions; 52% at investment trusts, investment companies and holding companies; and more than 57% at security and commodity brokerage firms.

Insurers ranked last in terms of employment of minority men as managers. Only 5.4% of insurance company managers were minority men in 2004, GAO researchers write in their report.

Insurers ranked in the middle in terms of employment of minority women as managers: 7.5% of insurance company managers were minority women. Minority women held more than 10% of the management posts at banks and other credit institutions but fewer than 6.5% of the management posts at investment companies, investment trusts, security and commodity brokerage firms.

Insurers came in first in terms of employment of white women as managers: almost 41% of insurance company managers were white women. In other financial services sectors, the share of management posts held by women ranged from about 27% at security and commodity brokerage firms to a little more than 38% at banks and other credit institutions that take deposits.

The GAO researchers based their report on survey data from the Equal Opportunity Commission.

The EEOC uses a single category for all “officials and managers,” the researchers note.

“This category includes lower level positions (e.g., assistant manager of a small bank branch) that may have a higher representation of minorities and women,” the researchers write. “In 2007, EEOC plans to use a revised form for employers that divides this category into ‘executive/senior-level officers and managers’ and first/mid-level officials,’ which could provide a more accurate picture of diversity among senior managers.”

A copy of the GAO report is on the Web at Document Link