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'Not yet 50/50' - A critical appraisal
journal contributionposted on 2018-07-26, 00:00 authored by Linda ColleyLinda Colley
While women have made significant gains in participation in paid work, their career progress has been far less than equal, and gender inequality in the quality of careers remains a puzzle. The ‘Not yet 50/50’ research addresses this important issue in the context of public services, where we might expect that decades of equity programs would have reduced inequalities. I was an enthusiastic audience for this research and its findings. The strength of the paper is the breadth of the primary data. With the co-operation of six departments, the researchers obtained a good sample of interviews with Senior Executive Service (SES) officers, supported by data from focus groups with the feeder group at Executive level (EL). As such the paper provides an audit of the position of women in the APS. Another valuable aspect of the research is the presentation of some very telling (and disturbing) narratives on self-perceptions and others’ perceptions of the impact of family on work commitment. Unfortunately, the paper does not quite live up to its promise and the reader is left with perhaps more questions than answers. There are a number of areas of concern.