Rainbow is an umbrella term to describe people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex. Findings from the Workplace Dynamics Survey 2016[1] indicate that approximately 7% of public servants identify as having a non-heterosexual sexual orientation, although this may be under-reported.

SSC worked with the Cross-Agency Rainbow Network (the Public Service rainbow network) to develop the WeCount 2019 Survey to measure gender and sexual diversity in the Public Service, and to measure aspects of inclusiveness within the Public Service for the Rainbow communities. This survey was conducted in the first half of 2019.

Findings from the WeCount 2019 survey show that 65% of Public Service respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they felt comfortable bringing their whole self to work. Respondents generally felt more comfortable in their identities with their colleagues, than with managers or at work in general.

The average comfort levels for the sexual identity group (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual+) is higher than the gender diverse and transgender group, and the average comfort levels for the gender diverse and transgender group is higher than the intersex group. The gender diverse and transgender group have the highest proportion of people who said it was hard or very hard to be themselves at work.

The full findings will be published on the SSC website in December 2019.

[1] Jones, D., Blumenfeld, S., and Plimmer, G. (2018, June) LGBTIQ+ experiences in the New Zealand Public Service (including some NGO and local government data). Presentation to State Service Commission, with PSA (Public Service Association, 26 June 2018. Work in progress. Deborah Jones, Stephen Blumenfeld and Geoff Plimmer, Centre for Labour, Employment and Work, Victoria Business School, Victoria University of Wellington.

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