We have made significant progress on gender equality in the Civil Service, which is my area of direct responsibility. The overall number of civil servants at the end of the third quarter of 2018 was 38,736, of whom 21,954 were female and 16,782 were male.
I have provided a breakdown by grade within the Civil Service for the Deputy. The proportion of females at the levels of Secretary General, assistant secretary, principal officer, assistant principal, higher executive officer and clerical officer is 21%, 35%, 43%, 50%, 57% and 72%, respectively. In my written answer to the Deputy's question, I have laid out the figures in tabular format over the past six years in order that she can compare them.
We have made progress. At principal officer level, for example, we have moved from 34% of all principal officers being female in 2012 to a figure of 43%. At assistant principal level, the figure is 50%, while at assistant secretary level we have moved from 23% in 2012 to 35%. I am committed to building on this, however, and the Civil Service board, which comprises Secretaries General in all Departments, has instructed all Departments to take a number of actions, including training for management boards, better development supports particularly in the area of mentoring, gender balance as a stated business priority, leadership training courses to encompass gender focused knowledge and support, and assigning responsibility for gender and diversity to a specific member of the management board of every Department. While we have made progress, we need to make more.