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One in five top government roles held by women

One in five top government roles held by women

Friday 24 April 2020

One in five top government roles held by women


Just one in five top government roles are held by women, despite them making up 63% of the whole workforce.

The gender breakdown came in the States of Jersey 2019 Annual Report and Accounts, which showed that women remain under-represented in senior positions.

The proportion of female employees declines for more senior, higher-paid positions: 28% for senior staff and 20% at the director level.

The report, which was quietly published earlier this month, also shows that the number of female directors - defined as those forming part of the Corporate Strategy Board - working in government increased from 12.5% (2 of 16) in 2018 to 20% (3 of 15) in 2019.

The data was taken in December 2019 and includes permanent and fixed term staff only. The workforce includes civil servants, teachers, nurses, hospital consultants, and Ministerial and non-Ministerial States-funded employees.

The report is in line with gender pay gap figures published by the States for the first time in October last year, which revealed that on average women are paid 18.3% less than men in the public sector.

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Pictured: The 2019 Annual Report revealed that 3 out of 15 government directors were women. 

Deputy Jess Perchard, who sits on the Gender Pay Gap Review Panel, believes the new statistics are “cause for continued concern”.

She told Express: “I continue to believe that this ratio of men to women at the senior level isn’t good enough. I think the Chief Minister would be likely to agree.” 

The 2019 Annual Report and Accounts outlines that the government aims “to be a good and fair employer with a diverse and inclusive workforce, which reflects the people to whom we provide services".

To increase the number of women in senior leadership positions, an ‘Inspiring women into leadership and learning’ (I WILL) initiative was established last year. The report says “more than 300 women and men have signed up to the group, which is sponsored by a female senior leader, benefiting from a series of network and learning opportunities".

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Pictured: The report compares gender diversity in senior positions between 2018 and 2019. 

The States were urged to take “immediate action” to close the gender pay gap in the July 2019 report ‘Is there a Gender Pay Gap in Jersey?’ published by the Gender Pay Gap Scrutiny Review Panel.

The document also stated that a new role of Head of Diversity should be created within the workforce by the end of June 2020 to “monitor diversity, equality and inclusion within the public sector".

Deputy Perchard said: “During this crisis, it is a hard time to ensure that previous decisions and political endeavours are achieved – indeed we have to acknowledge that some things do just need to wait – but that doesn’t mean we should abandon our principles.”

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Pictured: The government was urged to take "immediate action" to close the gender pay gap. 

“When new hires are made during the pandemic, I expect fair, open, equitable recruitment process that strive to recruit a truly diverse range of people. 

“We have to make sure we get the best person for the job, and that means throwing the net far beyond one single demographic, which only serves to restrict the pool and will inevitably mean the very best people aren’t even on our radar.”

A public sector gender pay gap report is expected at the end of 2020, allowing progress of the States’ gender equality action plan to be monitored. 

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