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Senior Civil Service still cold house for Catholics

22 August, 2005

Sinn Féin Equality and Human Rights Spokesperson, South Down MLA Caitríona Ruane has said that the annual report from the Civil Service Commissioners raises fresh concerns about the community and gender composition of the upper levels of the North's civil service.

Ms Ruane said: "This report shows that while there has been some progress in addressing the under representation of women and Catholics at senior civil service levels that there is still a major imbalance.

"At Director level (grade 5), while nine of the 12 appointments in the last year were women and this is to be welcomed but if we look at the next grades down, there were only 2 women appointees out of 13. Similarly in terms of Catholic representation at Director level, five of the 12 appointments for 2004-05 were Catholic yet at senior grades only 2 of the 13 were Catholic.

"Over the past three years there have been 68 appointments at senior grades - only 23 of these have been women and 24 Catholic (33.8% and 35.3% respectively).

"Fundamentally while there has been marginal changes from previous statistics the senior levels of the civil service are still a cold house for Catholics and women. There are still considerable improvements for the civil service to embrace in order to achieve a representative workforce." ENDS

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