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Equality Report highlight under representation at senior Civil Service grades

6 February, 2008

Sinn Féin Equality and Human Rights Spokesperson, Foyle MLA Martina Anderson commenting on the publication of the supplement of the 'Eighth Report of the Equal Opportunities Unit' today into equal opportunities in the Civil Service in 2007 has said that women and Catholics are still under represented at senior grades.

Ms Anderson said:

"While Peter Robinson may reflect upon progress across the Civil Service as a whole in terms of the representation of women and Catholics I would also hope that he can acknowledge genuine concerns about the under representation of these groups at the most senior grades within the civil service.

"At the senior grades - Grade 5 and above - across the civil service departments only about a third are Catholics and a quarter are women. The figures in relation to people with disabilities and ethnic minorities are far far worse.

"Sinn Féin is determined to tackle discrimination and inequality wherever it exists. Within the civil service and particularly the senior civil service grades and the NIO there continues to be problems under representation. Yet it is at these senior grades that key decisions on policy are made.

"In all areas where under-representation of particular communities or minorities occurs action needs to be taken to tackle such imbalance." ENDS

Note to Editors

Non-industrial NICS Staff by grade and gender - Grade 5+ 67 women out of 264 (25.4%)

Non-industrial NICS Staff by grade and community background - Grade 5+ 91 Catholics out of 264 (34.5%)

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