URA Commissioner General Doris Akol says paying taxes is painful but necessary

The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) in 2017 undertook a study to examine the representation of women across the organisation, their performance, and the perceptions of men and women of the gender dynamics in the workplace.

The study came out with different findings. In terms of representation, in total, 39 per cent of URA employees were women at the end of 2017. Women are present in significant numbers in all departments, with the least frequent being customs at 35 percent.

According to the study, majority of the women work in junior positions, with a few in leadership, including the Commissioner General Doris Akol. There are also regional differences, with women constituting a low proportion of staff outside the central region where Kampala, Entebbe International Airport, and the URA head office are located.

In terms of their performance, the study found that on average, women receive slightly higher scores than men on their six-monthly appraisals. They also tend to remain with the revenue administration longer than men: 12.3 years on average versus 11.6 years. Finally, male employees are more than twice as likely as women to be subject to disciplinary action such as termination, suspension or dismissal.

In terms of perceptions and attitudes, women are not perceived as a novelty or a threat by their male colleagues, and both women and men seem relaxed and satisfied about working in a mixed environment.

However, more men (61 per cent) than women (23 percent) were satisfied with the URA’s current level of gender diversity. Overall, the case suggests employing women is beneficial for the effectiveness of tax administrations.

Tax administration has traditionally been a field dominated by men, but women’s participation is increasing, according to a recent study.