According to City, turnover rates for men and women in managerial positions are the same

Overall, the city recorded a turnover rate of 7.1 percent last year, which was significantly higher than usual

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Two Calgary councilors continue to seek answers as data shows women were more likely to have left city hall jobs than men in 2021, despite the near-identical turnover rate for women and men in leadership positions.

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Overall, the city recorded significantly more than usual last year, with a turnover rate of 7.1 percent. In the years before the pandemic, the city government recorded a voluntary turnover rate of 4.7 percent in 2018 and 4.6 percent in 2019.

According to city data, women working for the city had a voluntary turnover rate of 7.6 percent in 2021, compared to 6.8 percent for men. The fluctuation rate for women in managerial positions was 10.3 percent and 10.9 percent for men.

count. At a council meeting in April, Sonya Sharp expressed concern about women leaving their jobs in the city, noting in particular five women in senior positions who had left one after the other within a few months.

“There were more people quitting and women again, there are two that came to my attention,” Sharp said over the phone on Wednesday.

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“There are also men who leave the company, we know that. I would say superficially that lately we’ve seen more women than we’ve gone.”

She said she wants to learn more about the reasons employees are leaving and why more women left overall in 2021. With the city currently undergoing a realignment project, Ward 1 City Council said several factors could play a role.

“We need to bring something forward to take it a little bit deeper,” Sharp said.

Sharp, who worked for the city government for 20 years before being elected to the city council in October, said she and Coun. Jennifer Wyness will work together to find out more about turnover rates and investigate concerns about women leaving City Hall.

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Wyness said she’s heard from some women in the city that they have concerns about their jobs but don’t feel comfortable raising them.

“When you hear stuff and your stories point to a problem, you just have to keep digging to get to the root of a huge organization like the city,” said Wyness, who represents Ward 2.

Council members Richard Pootmans, left, Jennifer Wyness, Dan McLean and Courtney Walcott during the last council meeting in Calgary before the Christmas break on Monday, December 20, 2021.
Council members Richard Pootmans, left, Jennifer Wyness, Dan McLean and Courtney Walcott during the last council meeting in Calgary before the Christmas break on Monday, December 20, 2021. Photo by Azin Ghaffari/Postmedia

In a statement to Postmedia, city officials said there is a relatively low permanent employee turnover rate that the Municipal Benchmarking Network Canada is actively monitoring compared to other municipalities. According to this data, the city of Calgary has the second-lowest voluntary turnover rate among 16 other Canadian municipalities, including Toronto and Winnipeg.

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“The City of Calgary is committed to providing a safe and inclusive work environment where everyone feels valued and respected,” the statement said.

“We recognize the value of gender equality and diversity in our workplace. We work specifically to break down barriers for women and other underrepresented groups.”

During a presentation to City Council in April, City Manager David Duckworth said the high number of resignations and retirements in 2021 was largely due to the city’s end of retirement benefits.

The previous council voted in 2019 to eliminate an over-50 year allowance for retiring employees no earlier than December 31, 2021. Duckworth said many left because that allowance was removed, but noted some also said city salaries are no longer competitive with the private sector.

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The average number of annual retirements from 2017 to 2020 was 350, while 2021 saw 608 retirements. The city says the number of retirements has slowed below previous levels in the first few months of 2022.

The city said in the statement that the voluntary turnover rate in 2022 for both men and women is expected to be much lower than in 2021.

“Voluntary turnover for executives is also relatively low and shows no significant difference between males and females,” the city said.

The city’s data was current as of March 31 and included the city manager, general managers, directors and managers in the officer data. It showed a zero percent senior management turnover rate for the first quarter of 2022.

At the level just below the executive board, there were four resignations between January 1 and April 14, 2022, according to the city – two men and two women.

The city added that promotion rates are rising, with women being promoted at a rate of 2.6 percent and men at 1.8 percent this year. In 2021 it was 1.1 percent for women and 1.2 percent for men.

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Twitter: @BabychStephanie

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