Latest Public Sector News


Civil service to become one of the most female-friendly employers in the country

The civil service is to become one of the most female-friendly employers in the country, the Cabinet Office has pledged.

Measures have been laid out in the government’s Talent Action Plan: Removing barriers to success, published today. They include the adoption of a new entitlement to Shared Parental Leave, which will allow civil servants at all levels across government to have the option to split six months full pay usually offered to women for maternity leave.

Also among the proposals is a clampdown on all-male shortlists for senior recruitment, and all-male selection panels. All departments will be required to nominate a board-level diversity champion and all leaders will be given additional training to remove ‘unconscious bias’ from interviews.

Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude said: “To deliver excellent public services for hardworking families we need the best civil servants. But for too long, too few talented women reached the highest levels. We have examined the actual barriers faced by women and are now addressing them. We are also commissioning further work to ensure that you can succeed in the civil service whoever you are – it’s all part of our long-term plan for a stronger economy.”

Currently 53% of civil servants are women; however they only hold 38% of positions at the top grades. The current Talent Action Plan is based on a government commissioned research project examining blockages preventing women from reaching the most senior levels of civil services, conducted by the Hay Group.

There are currently three other research projects going on looking at challenges facing other groups in reach senior civil service positions. These include; ethnic minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities; and the disabled.

In the next 12 months the plan will be refreshed once findings from the other research projects becomes available.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email [email protected]


Not_My_Jobs_Worth   09/09/2014 at 09:05

Perhaps there are not enough women in senior roles because they are not the right candidate for the job. You can promote someone based on there sex just to satify equality. The majority of low level managers in our business (about 70-75%) are female, yet you dont here an out cry from the male staff calling it sexism. People should be promoted solely based on their suitability for the role, not the gender or their ethnicity.

Tim   09/09/2014 at 09:32

Obviously the best person should get the job - but often this is not a woman even when it should be, due to conscious or unconscious bias and prejudice. This is not always malicious: often people selecting candidates, on some level, want 'people like me' to do the job. Since so many of the existing senior management are male, this factor comes into play too.

Add your comment


public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >