The factors underpinning the gender pay gap are complex and the Government has established a taskforce that will explore these in much greater detail. The Taskforce will make recommendations to address gender-based inequities in the Public Service, as well as in the public Health and Education sectors.
Because pay varies considerably between occupations, simple pay gap comparisons between sectors that have different occupational compositions are problematic. Controlling for the effect of the occupational structure of the Public Service gives an adjusted gender pay gap of 7%5 in the Public Service, compared with 13% for the labour force6 as a whole.
More detailed analysis of the Public Service data examined the extent to which different factors contribute to the pay gap in the Public Service. Job evaluation data gathered in the survey indicate that half of the pay gap in the Public Service was due to men working in larger-sized jobs than women. The effect of women working in occupations that were paid less than those occupations men worked in explained a further 23% of the pay gap. Age, length of service, region, collective bargaining, employment term and ethnicity together explained 17% of the pay gap. Men were more likely to work in higher-paying departments than women, and this explained 8% of the gender pay gap. In total, 98% of the pay gap in the Public Service could be attributed to the effect of these factors.
5 The unadjusted gender pay gap in the Public Service in 2003 was 16% (the same as in 2002), compared with 13% for the labour force as a whole.
6 Source: Statistics NZ, New Zealand Income Survey, June 2003