Glass ceiling goes a bit higher

Women make up a slightly larger percentage of the workforce in the Cayman Islands government service, but men still take most of the top tier jobs, according to a civil service survey for the 2009/10 budget year.

However, there is some encouraging news for the fairer sex in the public sector workforce; they’re catching up at the executive level positions.

According to the government’s annual human resources report, women now make up 47 per cent of organisation executives within government – jobs like chief officers, deputy chief officers and heads of departments.

“Within the middle/junior management and specialist technical roles…and within the top and middle level operational roles…the gender split is representative of the service as a whole,” the report read, meaning there are more women than men in those jobs. The Cayman Islands government service is about 53 per cent female and 47 per cent male.

The lowest-paid section of the government workforce is 71 per cent women. Men working at the lower end of the scale still tended to be a bit higher paid than their female counterparts.

“[This] tends to relate to roles in the specialist trades,” the report indicated.

Caymanians move up

Meanwhile, Caymanians make up about 72 per cent of the civil service/central government workforce overall. Those most senior and best-paid positions within the service are 63 per cent Caymanian.

At the executive level, that percentage goes higher – 73 per cent of chief officers, deputy chiefs, and department heads are Caymanians. However, that percentage doesn’t sustain at the middle management level of the service.

“With the middle/junior management and specialist technical roles…Caymanians are slightly under-represented at 62 per cent,” the study found. “Non-Caymanians tend to hold a higher proportion of the posts in the mid-salary range, which tend to be the specialist roles, where in many instances, local talent is currently unavailable.”

Caymanians make up about 87 per cent of the civil service workers in the lower salary range. The report stated that the government service is typically reluctant to recruit foreign workers in lower-paid or under skilled positions.

Other than Caymanians, Jamaicans are the most populous foreign nationality within the central government service; making up some 12.6 per cent of the civil service workforce. British nationals make up 4.6 per cent of the force. All other nationalities make up less than 2 per cent of the government workforce.

As of 30 June, 2010, there were 3,687 employees in the civil service or central government. An additional 2,194 individuals were working in statutory authorities and government-owned companies, making a total of 5,881 total public sector workers. The average age of civil service workers is 41.

Pay grades

The vast majority – about 85 per cent – of Cayman Islands civil service workers make less than $60,000 per year, according to the human resources review.

About 13 per cent of civil servants earn between $50,000-$59,000 per year; about 20 per cent make between $40,000-$49,000 per year; some 29 per cent make between $30,000-$39,999 each year, and an additional 19 per cent make between $20,000-$29,999 per year.

Only nine civil servants make more than $140,000 per year, according to the study.

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