A Liberal Democrat councillor has called for greater diversity among top level officers at Hertfordshire County Council.

Councillor Paul Zuckowskyj drew attention to the lack of diversity at a meeting of the employment committee on Wednesday which was considering two director level appointments.

Currently six out of the eight director or chief officer level appointments at the council are held by men.

Cllr Zuckowskyj said: “There is a question mark in my mind over the diversity of our chief officers.

“We need to be aware that there are some concerns that start to arise if we don’t reflect the diversity of our communities. I just think that we need to be mindful.”

At the meeting, the committee backed the permanent appointment of Darryl Keen as director of community protection and Steven Pilsworth as interim director of resources.

Leader of the council Conservative councillor David Williams acknowledged Cllr Zuckowskyj’s concern.

Cllr Williams has previously highlighted the absence of female candidates in the final stages of the search for the council’s chief executive role.

He also said he hoped to see greater diversity in applicants for the director of resources role.

Following the meeting Cllr Williams said: “As we search for candidates for the role of director of resources, we will of course be looking to encourage female applicants.

“In recent months we have been able to welcome four outstanding female assistant directors to the organisation.

“This builds on our track record in terms of gender pay, where we have reported a Gender Pay Gap – the difference in average pay between all men and all women across the council – that favours our female staff.”

At the meeting, the employment committee heard that the county council intended to use the same recruitment consultants they had for the chief executive role to find a director of resources.

“Their job is to zone in on candidates who have the capacity to fill the role in this particular case,” said Cllr Williams.

“They came up with some interesting candidates for the chief executive role and I hope they will come up with an equally strong field.”

Mr Owen Mapley, who will take over as the council’s chief executive in January, pointed to existing gender diversity at assistant director level which in terms of gender are more equal with ten men and nine women represented.