The public sector workforce is increasingly female, while the balance of men and women in private sector employment has remained largely unchanged over the past 10 years, the latest Labour Market Trends survey by the Office for National Statistics shows.
There has been a steadily rising proportion of women in the public sector workforce, from 60.2% in 1995 to 65.2% in 2004.
In contrast, female employees in the private sector have accounted for about 40% of the total workforce since 1995.
There was also a significant difference between the two sectors in terms of union membership numbers.
In 1995, 60.7% of public sector workers belonged to trade unions and this figure remained relatively high at 59.3% in 2004.
But just 19.9% of private sector employees were members of trade unions in 1995 and by 2004 the figure had fallen to 16.3%.