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New data reveals closing gender pay gap

The 2019 Workforce Data, published by the State Services Commission, shows a trend towards a younger and more diverse Public Service workforce.

State Services Commissioner, Peter Hughes said the information was collected from staff payroll data in all 34 Public Service Departments at 30 June.

“It includes staff numbers, age, gender, ethnicity, occupation, salaries, sick leave and gender pay gaps,” Mr Hughes said.

The State Services Commission has collected this data since 2000.

“High quality workforce information is important for Public Service Agencies to be able to recruit, develop and deploy the people they need, and to help address workforce pressure points and issues,” Mr Hughes said.

He said that apart from a trend towards a younger and more ethnically diverse Public Service, the information showed that more women continued to occupy senior leadership roles and that the gender pay gap had closed substantially in the past year. 

The average age of a Public Servant was now 44.4 years, after peaking at 44.8 years in 2015-16. Public Servants under the age of 35 now made up 28 per cent of the workforce, compared with 24 per cent in 2012.  

Māori (15.5 per cent) and Pacific (9.2 per cent) representation in the Public Service was higher than the overall New Zealand labour force (12.6 per cent and 6.3 per cent respectively). Asian representation was now 11.1 per cent, up from 10.1 per cent last year.

The number of women in senior management roles stood at 49.6 per cent — up from 48.8 per cent last year and 37.8 per cent in 2009, while the gender pay gap was 10.5 per cent, a substantial decrease from last year’s gap of 12.2 per cent – the lowest gender pay gap since measurement began in 2000.

“We have made significant progress on closing the gender pay gap and we now have more women in leadership roles than ever before,” Mr Hughes said.

“Our challenge now is to maintain the momentum we’ve started.”

He said another significant factor shown in the data was the work the Public Service was doing around designing and supporting digital services.

“Of all the occupation groups, the largest increase was ‘information professionals’, which went up by 714, or 12.4 per cent,” Mr Hughes said.