News / Ottawa

Canada's public service a model for the world

Our senior civil bureaucracy is the closest in world to a 50-50 gender split, according to a new study.

Robyn Benson, president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, says she's encouraged by the recent showing that Canada has the gender-equal civil service in the world.

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Robyn Benson, president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, says she's encouraged by the recent showing that Canada has the gender-equal civil service in the world.

Canada’s civil service is the most gender-equal in the world, according to a new study.

The Global Government Forum, which has been measuring this standard for several years, found 46.4 per cent of Canada’s senior civil servants are women — the highest proportion of any G20 country.

Australia’s figure was in second place, at only 3.3 percentage points behind Canada’s, and has been closing the gap on Canada for the last few years.

Turkey and South Korea were the only countries in the survey that moved backwards, with fewer women in the senior ranks in 2016 than in 2015. 

The GGF said they hope that the study will bring about change in countries where things weren’t moving.

Robyn Benson, president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, said Canada has made strides, but there is still a way to go.

She said childcare is a major issue for public servants — and for women in any line of work — and it’s past time the government did something serious to address the issue.

“I am a grandmother of six and I have been lobbying for childcare since my children were little,” she said.  

She said this is something the Trudeau government should address.

“If they were really serious about women and women in the workplace and being the feminist he says he is,” she said, “then one would have assumed this government would have assured there was universal affordable childcare.”

She said the government’s pay-equity promise made in the last election is still awaiting legislation and there is no reason for that wait.

“This government could have done something before now.”

She said that the public service has to be more adaptable and ready to change.

“They need to have childcare, they need to have workplaces that are conducive to changing times and technology, ” she said.

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