Research from Louise has revealed that following recent Prime Ministerial appointments, the leadership of the civil service is now over 80% white men, having been 50/50 in the early days of the Coalition government.
Female representation among the most senior civil servants, Permanent Secretaries in the 16 top departments, reached 50% in 2011 but has drastically declined under David Cameron’s premiership.
Just 3 of the top departmental bosses are now women meaning that over 80% are now white men.
Cameron gave himself power to personally appoint from a shortlist in early 2015, whereas previous PMs only had the power to veto a recommendation of the Civil Service Commission. Since taking on that power, Cameron has appointed 8 men and just 2 women.
Commenting Louise Haigh, shadow minister for the civil service said:
“David Cameron likes to talk the talk on equality but in just five short years he has almost completely reversed decades of progress at the top of the civil service. Time and again the Prime Minister has appointed men in place of women to the top civil service roles, and it appears that to him ‘the man in Whitehall knows best’ is less a tired cliché and more an article of faith”.
"Across the civil service diversity is increasing at a glacial pace, but when it comes to those appointments in the gift of the top Tories it is in tyre screeching reverse. The truth is, those at the top of government prefer it to look and sound just like them.”