Headlines: December 5th, 2001

A drive has been launched to recruit more women to national and regional public services. Currently about one third of public employees are women. More female-friendly recruitment practices will be introduced, there will be an advertising campaign and seminars will be run to heighten awareness of opportunities.Research carried out by the Office for Public Management on behalf of the DTLR found a number of barriers that need to be tackled to improve the gender balance. They include the way women perceive public appointments, the approach employers take to recruitment, the selection process and the culture of public bodies and their boards. Other factors which influence the decisions of women about applying for posts are the time required to fulfill duties and the availability of childcare.

The research also revealed that although considerably more men than women apply for public jobs, once they apply, a greater percentage of women than men succeed at each stage of the appointments process

The recruitment drive is part of the overall diversity strategy which seeks to present a positive image of public organizations and to promote creative thinking, better decision making and flexibility.