12/12/2013 04:35 EST | Updated 02/11/2014 05:59 EST

Report: Women in federal work force still face obstacles to advancement

WASHINGTON - A new report says women in the federal workforce continue to face more obstacles than men in reaching top positions and salaries despite making strides over the years.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says a major hurdle is that agencies don't offer enough flexibility for women raising young children. The report also identifies a lack of mentoring and training as key factors limiting many women who want to advance.

Women make up nearly 44 per cent of the federal workforce, but comprise only 30 per cent of Senior Executive Service positions. They hold about 38 per cent of GS-14 and GS-15 positions, the top pay scales in the main federal pay system.

The report recommends that federal agencies set up formal mentoring programs and allow women to work more flexible hours.