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DfT director general encourages civil service to embrace Twitter

Charlotte Jee Published 12 April 2013

Says social media could help promote women's development


Clare Moriarty, director general of rail at the Department for Transport, has encouraged her fellow civil servants to embrace Twitter.

At a 'teacamp' event yesterday with the theme of 'digital women', Moriarty admitted that using Twitter can pose a challenge to civil servants, and those at a senior level in particular, as they can be perceived to be speaking on behalf of the government even if they are using their own personal account. This can raise issues around impartiality, and there is a risk of negative media attention.

However, she said that the benefits outweigh the risks, as Twitter provides the opportunity to make connections that could not otherwise be made, offering the opportunity to converse with a wider pool of people. As a direct and open medium, it can also help raise the profile of senior management.

In addition, as the DfT's gender champion, Moriarty said she was interested in exploring how Twitter can be used to help promote women, suggesting that it is a particularly complementary format to the way women work, and "plays to our strengths".

Finally, she called for people's views on what the civil service can do to promote more women, via Twitter or otherwise. Women account for 53% of the civil service, but representation declines as with seniority- 34% of senior civil servants and 31% of top management are women, according to ONS statistics as of March 2012.

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