Gender balance in public sector jobs: progress still ahead

The so-called Sowade Law of March 12, 2012, which establishes parity in the civil service, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. By introducing a minimum proportion of each gender in the initial appointments for nearly 6,000 senior leadership and management positions, he generally improved the status of women. This share should be 40% from 2017 on pain of financial sanctions. Although it rose from 33% in 2013 to 42% in 2019, it has only reached 40% in three parts of the civil service since 2020. However, the overall proportion of women in these leadership positions – about a third – remains low today, noted speakers from two roundtables organized by the Senate Women’s Rights Delegation on February 24, 2022. to the “flow” (primo-nomination), and not to the “reserve”.

Admittedly, “we need mechanisms like the Sovade Act or regulatory mechanisms to build momentum, but that’s just the first step,” says Natalie Pielhes, president of the Modern Administration association. However, parity in the construction of public decision-making, in the division of decision-making and, consequently, power … And here there is resistance: the public employers themselves prevented progress. They don’t see the usefulness of diversity in decision making.” Therefore, in order to take a new step, it is necessary to convince male leaders that the law, which they perceive as a limitation, is actually an opportunity. Natalie Pilhees also pointed to a lack of transparency, both in the results of community organizations and in the career paths women take, which are designed by men for men and should be redesigned. Lack of transparency in appointments too: some are still made without a recruiting jury and without knowledge of objective criteria. “The hidden market still exists,” said Natalie Pilhes.

Besides, why publish gender balance data in the public sector every two years? In the private sector, the so-called “Pico” index is published every 1 year.uh March. This publication has implications for the reputation of the organization and may encourage the adoption of other management practices; means of attracting young people to a career in the public service. Indeed, “the figures should be published much faster because there is a two-year delay to get a general assessment of the situation,” added Françoise Belé from the Association of Territorial Administrators of France (AATF). She believes public employers should also be fined slightly more and consider creating an equity index for public services. It would also be appropriate to “unbundling” the statistics, which do not allow for sufficient detail to consider the situation and thus make it possible for industries to compensate for each other.

A modern administration needs stronger political support, which could be part of a permanent interagency committee. Objective: To show all political levels and the various executive levels of the civil service that diversity and equality provide an opportunity to transform the civil service so that it serves citizens more. Confusion can also be integrated into agreements about the ends and means of large public institutions. The scope of balanced appointments could be extended, in particular, to judges and administrators of parliamentary assemblies.

Françoise Belé announced that following the Dec. 16, 2021 circular, communities can now access the call for professional equality projects funded by fines imposed on public employers. However, there was a month to answer this first call for projects. , which was too short for most communities to answer. Françoise Belé recalled that the obligation to publish action plans (law of 2019) allows you to go beyond quotas only by quota, and the Afnor label of equality allows you to objectify the situation. In its proposals to candidates for the presidential election, the AATF requests, in particular, that this obligation be extended to all leadership positions in the Territorial Public Service (FPT), where it only applies to DGAs, DGSs, and directors of technical services. The association also wants it to expand to the doorstep of communities of over 20,000 people* and to have senior equality officials appointed in large communities.

Mary Gasnier

* At a threshold of 40,000 inhabitants, 353 communities were affected in 2019.

Leave a Comment