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WOMEN MEMBERS OF THE NORTHERN IRELAND CIVIL SERVICE
Although women form slightly over half of the entire Northern Ireland civil service (NICS), according to the October 2009 report of the NICS's Equal Opportunities Unit, their numbers diminish sharply at the senior levels where they make up less than a third of the workforce. According to the report, a study into the gender disparities is currently underway an was expected to be completed by April 2010. Currently women hold just 24 per cent of Grade 5+ positions, and a number of departments had no women at this level. Table 2 gives a breakdown of each department, ranging from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, where men account for almost two-thirds of the workforce to the Department of Employment and Learning which has almost 67% women. Positively, since 2001 the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure has gone from being two-thirds male to now being made up of an equal number of men and women. The NICS recruitment service's latest report for 2008-2009 notes that 46% of all applicants were women, down from 58% in 2001-2002. Of appointments made, 45% were women, which is up from 32% in 2001.
Table 1: Gender breakdown of NICS by grade, March 2010
Table 3: Gender breakdown of NICS by department, March 2010
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