New Zealand Law Society - Public service gender pay gap falls for legal and other professionals

Public service gender pay gap falls for legal and other professionals

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The latest Public Service Workforce Data Report shows that the gender pay gap for the legal, HR and finance professionals occupational group was 5.7% in 2019. This was down from 6.9% in 2018 and 9.4% in 2017.

The overall Public Service gender pay gap in 2019 was 10.5%, down from 12.2% in 2018. The occupational groups with the biggest gender pay gaps in 2019 were policy analyists and clerical and administrative workers - both 10.4%. Other professionals not elsewhere included (-1.8%) and social, health and education workers (-0.2%) were the only two occupational groups to have a negative pay gap (ie, in favour of women).

“The Public Service gender pay gap is at its lowest point since measurement began in 2000," Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter says. "The 1.7% decrease in the last year is the largest annual reduction in the gap in 17 years."

The gender pay gap varies widely if different age brackets within a group are compared. The gender pay gap for legal, HR and finance professionals aged 25 to 29 was -4.0% in 2019 (ie, in favour of women). However, while still negative, the gap had fallen to 0.6% in favour of women for those aged 30 to 34, and was back to a 3.5% pay gap in favour of men for those aged 35 to 39. For the group aged 60 to 64 in that occupational class there was a gender pay gap of 11.5%.

Commentary on the occupational gender pay gap data states that even within the same occupational groups there are compositional differences between the genders in terms of seniority and experience. For example, women make up 54.8% of all managers in the Public Service in 2019, but only 49.6% of senior managers (although this is up from 37.8% in 2009).

The "legal, HR and finance professionals" occupational group contributed 2,420 of the 52,628 public service total in 2019.

When different agencies are compared, the agency with the biggest gender pay gap in 2019 was the Ministry of Defence (32.8%). This was followed by the Crown Law Office (25.3%). Other justice sector agencies were the Department of Corrections (a 1.1% gender pay gap), the Ministry of Justice (12.4%) and the Serious Fraud Office (11.7%).

Other agencies involved in work closely related to legal services were the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (15.6% gender pay gap), the Department of Internal Affairs (14.3%) and Land Information New Zealand (10.1%).

The agencies with negative or no gender pay gap were Oranga Tamariki (-2.2%), the Ministry of Pacific Peoples (0.0%), the Pike River Recovery Agency (0.0%), the Social Investment Agency (0.0%) and the Ministry for Women (0.0%).

Some other metrics for justice sector agencies

The data report provides a wealth of detail on other metrics. Some relating to justice sector and associated agencies:

AgencyAve AgeAve SalaryStaff Turnover% Mngrs% Women in Snr Mgmt
Crown Law38.4$102,00022.0%14.1%45.0%
Internal Affairs42.7$85,80018.3%14.9%56.4%
All Public Service44.4$81,30016.4%11.5%49.6%
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