2011 Equality Report Card Excerpt: Women in Public Service

↗ Women make up 72% of the public service (up negligibly from 71% in 2009) and 56% of managers (up from 53% in 2009). The apparent imbalance comes from Health PEI, where women make up 85% of the workforce and 78% of managers. If we exclude Health PEI from calculations, women make up almost 53% of the rest of the public service and 45% of managers.

↗ The balance between the proportion of women workers and the proportion of women managers is improving. In three departments (Agriculture, Justice and Public Safety, and Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal), women make up a higher proportion of managers than of women in the departmental workforce. In Community Services, Seniors and Labour, there is a less than five-point gap. In three more departments (Environment, Finance and Municipal Affairs, and Health), there is a less than ten-point difference between the percentage of women workers and the percentage of women managers.

→ Work remains to be done to create better balance in job categories. About 80% of the women in the public service work in health, education, and social services – areas that could be considered “traditional” roles for women. By contrast, women make up a slim 17% of year- round workers in Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. In the Advisory Council’s view, an overbalance of women in some departments is not healthy, either, and more needs to be done to encourage men’s work in roles that have been non-traditional for their gender.

→ In five departments there is still a significant gap between the percentage of women workers and the percentage of women managers: a greater than 10-point gap in Education and Early Childhood Development, and Tourism and Culture, and a greater than 20-point gap in Innovation and Advanced Learning and its agencies, Executive Council, and Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development.

→ It is difficult to measure to what extent government actively recruits or selects candidates because of its gender and diversity policies or whether in a “gender-neutral” environment, with hiring based on “merit,” women are simply the best candidates.

→ According to Women in PEI: A Statistical Profile, Prince Edward Island still has a substantial gender wage gap, though it is the smallest gap among the Canadian provinces. Women who work full year, full time average 81.8% of men’s average earnings. Good jobs in the public service are important to closing the gap.

Increased employment equity, especially women in leadership roles, within the provincial civil service: B+


This is an excerpt from the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women 2011 Equality Report Card for PEI, released in June 2011 and based on information updated to May 30, 2011. The Advisory Council is republishing one area of assessment each week on this blog. For more information, visit the Advisory Council on the Status of Women website.

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