E&M

2021/4

Raffaella Saporito Silvia Rota Elisabetta Trinchero

Women and the PA: A Case of Half Success

Despite being the majority in the public administration (58 percent of the total employees in OECD countries), women see less career advancement than men. While on the one hand, they are gradually occupying typically male public jobs (no longer only teachers and nurses, but also judges, prefects, and city clerks), on the other, they are still underrepresented in management roles. A career in the public administration is very attractive for women due to the social value of serving the public, instead of working in the private sector. The main obstacle is represented by prejudice in regard to women in command roles. Interventions to close the gender gap in management roles must not be only cultural. The systems for access to management roles must be rethought, orienting them more towards the evaluation of the real skills brought to the table by male and female candidates.

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