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Ria Mcbride Award Recognises Women Public Servants

Ria Mcbride Award Recognises Outstanding Women Public Servants

The State Services Commissioner, Michael Wintringham, in conjunction with the New Horizons Trust, today announced that Iria Pene from the Department for Corrections is the third winner of the Ria McBride Public Service Management Award.

Mr Wintringham also announced an extension of the Commission's sponsorship of the Award for a further five years, to 2007. "In recognition of increasing academic costs, the value of the study award will increase from $12,000 to $15,000 for 2003," he said.

The Award's namesake was an outstanding woman public servant of her generation.

Ria McBride joined the Public Service Commission (the predecessor of the SSC) in 1946 and in 1955 became the first woman appointed to the prestigious position of Chief Clerk. She overcame many barriers. She fought not only for her own right to a career, but for better pay and conditions for women across the Public Service.

"Like Ria McBride, Iria Pene is a pioneer for women in the Public Service - having been appointed the first female officer at Manawatu Prison. Ms Pene is mid way through an MBA programme at Massey University and will use the $12,000 award to help meet her MBA fees," he said.

"Compared with Miss McBride's day, the current generation of talented women public servants have many more opportunities for advancement. The revamped government jobsite www.jobs.govt.nz http://www.jobs.govt.nz, features profiles of enthusiastic and skilled women public servants - some doing jobs that were undreamt of in Miss McBride's day. But we can still do better.

"Women make up about a third of the senior management tiers in government departments, even though they represent about 58 percent of public servants. But significantly, 56 percent of "new managers" over the last year are women. I hope that their careers over the next decade will redress the balance," Mr Wintringham said.

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