The gender breakdown of staff in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Department of Finance is as follows. There is a tabular format for all this information being shared with Deputy Bruton separately but the following are the key points.
The percentage of female staff in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform stands at just over 54%. In the Department of Finance this figure is just below 43%. The average is, therefore, 49%.
There is a clear majority of female staff at temporary clerical officer, clerical officer and executive officer, EO, grades in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform equal to 70.9% of the total number employed at these grades. In the Department of Finance, the equivalent figure is 62% or 57 out of a total of 91.
The percentage of women filling the senior management roles of assistant principal and principal officer, PO, in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform stands at 47%. This is above average levels seen across the Civil Service as set out in the recent ESRI report. The corresponding figure for the Department of Finance is 39%.
There are nine positions at very senior level within the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. Four of these are filled by women, which is also above the Civil Service average. The seven equivalent positions in the Department of Finance are all currently occupied by men.
As to what I am doing about it, in the Civil Service Renewal Plan, which was published by me in January 2017, I announced a range of initiatives to help improve gender balance in the Civil Service, particularly at senior level. In particular, a target of 50:50 gender balance in new appointments at senior levels is now in place. While the merit based approach of "best person for the job" continues to apply, in cases where candidates who compete for Top Level Appointments Committee, TLAC, positions are of equal merit, then priority would be given to the female candidate where they are under-represented on the management board of the Department or office in question.