New Zealand Law Society - Head of Crown Law hits out at gender pay gap claim

Head of Crown Law hits out at gender pay gap claim

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The Chief Executive of Crown Law, Una Jagose, says a report suggesting the department has one of the largest gender pay gaps in the public sector is “simply false”.

The stuff website says the gender pay gap at Crown Law is 30%, a figure taken from a report on the public sector workforce by the State Services Commission (SSC).

Una Jagose

The stuff article says “However, women looking to work in the public sector should be wary of jobs in Defence and Crown Law - both have gender pay gaps of more than 30 per cent.”

In a statement, Ms Jagose, who is also the Solicitor-General, says that figure is deceptive.

“Crown Law has a strong culture of supporting women.  I am committed to ensuring that all of our staff are paid fairly regardless of gender.

“The 30% figure reported in the stuff article is not particularly useful or meaningful in understanding Crown Law’s gender pay position.

“Crown Law includes both legal and administrative workforces. Administrative roles are generally lower paid than legal roles, and are predominantly undertaken by women, and this is true across the legal profession. This reduces the overall average for women at Crown Law.

“We do also have a higher proportion of men in the very senior legal roles and, again, this impacts the overall average. We expect this to change as more of our women progress into these roles. This is already happening - women make up the majority of our workforce, and over half our managers are women.

“For almost all of our roles there is no difference in the average pay of women and men. Women and men doing the same role at Crown Law should be, and in most cases already are being, paid at the same level.

“That doesn’t mean that we don’t have any gender pay issues in this organisation – we do.  But we are working hard to address those and any implication that we pay men 30% more for doing the same job as women is simply false.  That is something I would never stand for.”

Ms Jagose says there have been “robust and honest” conversations with staff about gender equality and she is committed to addressing any further issues that arise.

“The expertise of all staff at Crown Law is highly valued. Women and men looking for excellent, challenging careers should consider Crown Law as an employer of choice and they will all be paid fairly regardless of gender,” she says.

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