Highest positions in Public Administration – less achievable for women

Although more numerous in our public administration, women rarely hold better paid decision-making positions, contrary, and the higher we go on the hierarchical ladder in ministries and municipalities, number of woman is decreasing – according to the Institute alternative’s research.

Traps of collective math may lead to the conclusion that the position of women in public administration is satisfactory, considering that, in a total number of ministries, there are more women than men. However, analysis of available lists of civil servants and employees in the ministries shows that the representation of women is highest in the lowest positions, and that they, therefore, have lower salaries and authorities.

Out of the total 17 ministries, ministerial position covers as many as 82% of men, while only Ministry of Public Administration, Science, and Economy is headed by women. Their position is even worse at the local level, considering that in total number of employed women in municipalities is less than the number of men, and that only 3 out of a total of 25 municipalities have a woman for president.

Apart from the rare case that woman being at the top position, only a quarter of the state secretaries are held by women, and they are less represented in the senior management staff. On the other hand, a significantly higher number of women (88%) compared to men in the ministries cover the position of employees, who perform tasks related to printing and reproduction of materials, provision of services, maintenance of cleanliness and other similar tasks. Even though obliged to, the Ministry of Economy hasn’t published, nor has been submitted us with a list of civil servants and employees with their titles, so our detailed analysis of women’s representation by job categories doesn’t include this ministry.

Although they are more educated, women are less likely to apply for high level management positions, which means their discouragement. For example, in our society more women than man complete specialist (67%) and master academic studies (61.6%), but they make only a third of the candidates who applied for the highest positions in our administration during 2020.

In local governments, all parameters show a worrying situation when it comes to the position of women. Except that in the municipalities total number of women are underrepresented, they hold just over a fifth (23%) of official’s positions. On the other side, on the lowest paying positions and those with the least authority at the local level, there are more women than men.

Research on the representation and position of women in public administration was conducted by the Institute Alternative, within the project ‘‘More than quotas: Gender mainstreaming and public policies in Montenegro’’ which we implement with financial support of Ministry for Human and Minority Rights of Montenegro.

An infographic that contains all findings of our research on the representation and position of women in ministries and municipalities, can be found here.

Institute Alternative Team

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