Men still at top in gov’t

It’s still a man’s world – in the Cayman Islands Civil Service anyway.

An exhaustive study of jobs held within the government service shows that the majority of those employed in the top half of the civil service pay scale (56 per cent) were men. In the top four pay ranks — generally upper level managers, chief officers and the like – men held 60 per cent of the posts.

At the other end of the scale, women made up nearly 54 per cent of those who held jobs in the lowest five pay ranks – although men held a greater number of jobs in the absolute lowest pay scale within the civil service.

Overall, slightly more women than men work in the civil service – roughly 200 more women have jobs in government than men.

The study was completed for the 2008/09 budget year, which ran from 1 July, 2008 to 30 June, 2009.

Generally, the study found that the highest echelon positions, governor, chief secretary, attorney general, judges and the like are almost all held by men (88 per cent). Top management executives; chief officers, and heads of departments were mostly men, but the ratio was much closer – 57 per cent of the jobs were held by men, 43 per cent by women.

For mid-management to top level operational roles, there was virtually no difference in the employment of men and women within the civil service.

The study looked at recruitment within the civil service and the distribution of jobs between Caymanians and non-Caymanian employees.

As has been the case for several years, Caymanians continued to dominate jobs in the civil service but what was more surprising was that the percentage of Caymanian workers in government has grown sharply since the early part of this decade.

On 30 June 2009, nearly 71 per cent of all workers employed in the civil service were Caymanians. That’s a large increase compared to eight years ago, when Caymanians held less than 57 per cent of government jobs.

Over the past three years, the ratio of Caymanian to non-Caymanian employees in the civil service has remained about the same.

Recruitment-wise for the 2008/09 year, some 348 new people were hired – a massive drop from the previous year. Sixty per cent of the new hires were Caymanians.

However, the study also showed that the vast majority of those recruited for higher paying positions within government were non-Caymanians.

Of the 129 people hired for jobs ranging from deputy director posts to mid-level management, specialist technical positions and other jobs such as teaching, law enforcement, and auditing; 100 were non-Caymanian, 29 were Caymanian.

By contrast, the majority of lower paying jobs were filled by Caymanians. At the lower end of the pay scale, 180 jobs were given to Caymanians and 39 to expatriates.

Human resources managers caution that those recruitment figures can be deceptive.

‘This does not form the full picture of attraction, retention and promotion of Caymanians within the civil service,’ the government report stated. ‘These figures do not take into account existing civil service workers who have moved into new roles within government.’

Also, expatriate workers generally tend to be recruited for specialist positions where there is no particular expertise existing in the Islands. Those jobs will often pay more than unskilled or non-technical positions.

The report also noted eight government departments that employed more than 50 per cent non-Caymanian employees. Those were: the 911 Emergency Communications Centre, the Auditor General’s Office, Counselling Services, Economics and Statistics Office, Government Information Services, the Governor’s office, the Portfolio of Legal Affairs, and the Vehicle and Equipment Services Department.

Those departments employing at least a 90 percent Caymanian workforce were listed as follows: Customs, the Ministry of District Administration, Employment Services, the Fire Service, the Immigration Department, the Legislative Assembly office, District Administration (Cayman Brac), the former Ministry of Communications, Works and Infrastructure, the Ministry of Tourism, the National Archive, the Postal Service, the Recreation, Parks and Cemeteries Unit, and the Treasury Department.