Executive Summary

The Public Service Gender Pay Gap Action Plan l Te Mahere Mahi Rerekētanga Ira Tangata (the Action Plan) has put evidence-based actions to close the gender pay gap into practice in thirty-four Public Service agencies with over 52,000 employees. There is no one size fits all solution: these agencies range in size from over 9,000 to fewer than 50 employees, with gender pay gaps in 2019 between 32 and -2%. Therefore, each agency has implemented the Action Plan in a way tailored to meet their own needs. Reviewing our success so far provides evidence and insights which can help all employers act on their gender pay gaps and guard against the gendered impacts of this pandemic.

The Action Plan is ambitious, with milestones in four focus areas – equal pay, flexible work, addressing bias, and leadership – over the course of two and a half years. It has also been effective. This report summarises what we've achieved and learnt, recognising the remaining challenges as well as the achievements.

There are a number of factors in the success of the Action Plan so far: leadership commitment; collaboration with key stakeholders; an evidence-based approach; measurable goals; transparency and accountability; and focusing on progress, rather than perfection. Addressing the impacts of bias is challenging, and there is a lack of strong evidence about how to do this effectively. Nonetheless, tackling bias is central to embedding change, and to ensuring that gains are made for all women.

Implementing the Action Plan has relied on a sustained effort and collaboration by agencies, employees and unions. Maintaining this effort is a challenge we identified before COVID-19, now it is doubly so. Safeguarding the gains made so far and continuing to progress will depend on agencies continuing to prioritise this work.

The Action Plan aims for the Public Service to model behaviours that can be normalised by employers in the State and private sectors. We hope that shining a light on our progress so far, and the challenges we’ve faced, contributes to the public and private sector dialogue and helps others to tailor and focus their own gender equality work, and to create fairer workplaces for women.

"We do this work because it’s the right thing to do and will lead to more fairness and equality in our workplace. It is completely aligned to our values."

NZ Customs Service 2020 Gender Pay Gap Action Plan

Last modified: