Women in leadership in the Public Service

"I’m very proud that the Public Service is leading the way in Aotearoa l New Zealand and internationally on women’s representation in leadership."

Peter Hughes, State Services Commissioner

Increasing women’s representation in leadership helps to reduce gender pay gaps, and the proportion of women in Public Service leadership has increased strongly in the last decade. 

Women now make up 50%of the top three tiers of the Public Service, and half of its chief executives. As well, in 19 agencies women held 50% or more of leadership positions, compared with 15 agencies in 2018. In contrast, in the private sector levels of women in leadership are low, 23.5% for NZX listed companies.

The State Services Commissioner also recognises that we need a pipeline of more diverse women leaders, and to see Māori, Pacific and Asian women better represented at all levels.

Agencies that have not yet reached gender balance in their own leadership teams are developing a plan and target date to achieve this.

Description of Figure 4

Figure 4 is made up 5 line graphs side by side. The horizontal axis in each section shows the years 2008 to 2019. The vertical axis shows percentages from 0% to 1005 in 10% intervals. There are two lines in each graph showing the percentage of men in blue and women in purple at each management level of the Public Service.

The first line graph shows that the percentage of women in tier 1 management has increased from approximately 25% in 2008 to 50% in 2019. It also shows that the percentage of men in tier 1 management has decreased from approximately 75% in 2008 to 50% in 2019.

The second line graph shows that the percentage of women in tier 2 management has increased from approximately 40% in 2008 to approximately 52% in 2019. It also shows that the percentage of men in tier 2 management has decreased from approximately 60% in 2008 to approximately 48% in 2019.

The third line graph shows that the percentage of women in tier 3 management has increased from approximately 40% in 2008 to approximately 50% in 2019. It also shows that the percentage of men in tier 3 management has decreased from approximately 60% in 2008 to approximately 40% in 2019.

The fourth line graph shows that the percentage of women who are other managers has increased from approximately 50% in 2008 to approximately 55% in 2019. It also shows that the percentage of men who are other managers has decreased from approximately 50% in 2008 to approximately 45% in 2019.

The fifth line graph shows that the percentage of women who are other staff has increased from approximately 60% in 2008 to approximately 62% in 2019. It also shows that the percentage of men who are other staff has decreased from approximately 40% in 2008 to approximately 38% in 2019.

 Public Service gender diversity by management level 20082019

Figure 4: Public Service gender diversity by management level 2008–2019

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