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The unadjusted gender pay gap

As at 30 June 2015, the average salary was $78,850 for men and $67,820 for women. The average salary increased by 2.7% for men and 2.9% women since 30 June 2014. This has meant the unadjusted gender pay gap has decreased slightly, by 0.1 percentage points, to 14.0%. Table 4.2 and Figure 4.1 shows that the historic narrowing of the gender pay gap has slowed since 2010. The definition for calculating the gender pay gap is given in Appendix 6. Gender pay gap varies greatly amongst departments as shown in Appendix 2, ranging from 39% in Ministry of Defence to -37% in Ministry for Women (where the average salary for women is higher than for men). These salary gaps are influenced by relative numbers of women and men in different occupations and seniority level in their workforces.

Table 4.2 Average salary by gender, 30 June 2011-2015
  2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Female salary (average)

$61,012

$63,033

$64,297

$65,932

$67,820

Male salary (average)

$71,219

$73,066

$74,903

$76,784

$78,850

Gender pay gap (%)

14.3%

13.7%

14.2%

14.1%

14.0%

Figure 4.1 Unadjusted gender pay gap, June 2006-2015

Figure 4.1 Unadjusted gender pay gap, June 2006-2015

A higher proportion of women work in the lower- paid occupational groups compared to men and this contributes to the gender pay gap. For example, women make up 60% of the Public Service workforce in 2015, but make up 82% of Clerical and Administrative roles. Table 4.3 shows that pay gaps by occupation are all lower than the overall pay gap because people in more equivalent roles are being compared.

Table 4.3 Gender pay gaps by occupation group, 30 June 2011-2015

HRC customised occupation groups

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Managers

13.8%

13.4%

13.9%

13.9%

13.7%

Policy Analysts

11.2%

11.1%

10.2%

9.7%

9.8%

Information Professionals

8.4%

7.7%

9.1%

9.7%

11.2%

Social, Health and Education Workers

4.9%

4.5%

5.4%

3.5%

3.6%

ICT Professionals and Technicians

9.4%

9.8%

9.6%

8.8%

7.8%

Legal, HR and Finance Professionals

9.9%

9.4%

10.6%

12.6%

12.4%

Inspectors and Regulatory Officers

4.6%

4.1%

4.5%

4.2%

5.1%

Contact Centre Workers

2.0%

2.7%

2.0%

3.3%

1.7%

Clerical and Administrative Workers

9.9%

6.8%

8.5%

13.4%*

11.0%

Other Occupations

11.9%

8.8%

8.9%

8.9%

12.0%

* The 2014 figure for ‘Clerical and Administrative Workers' is unusually high due to miscoding of some procurement roles into the group.

Some occupational groups, such as managers, still have high gender pay gaps. These gaps can be better seen by looking at the difference in the gender distribution of salaries by occupational groups as in Figure 4.2.

Figure 4.2 Gender salary box plots by occupational group, June year 2015

Figure 4.2 Gender salary box plots by occupational group, June year 2015

These box plots show how salary is distributed for each occupation and gender. Note that the whiskers of the distributions can be affected by occupational miscoding. Box plots are more fully explained in Appendix 6.

To some extent, gender pay gaps within occupational groups still reflect compositional differences between the genders in terms of seniority and experience. For example, women make up 52% of managers in the Public Service in 2015, but only 44% of senior managers (although this is up from 38% in 2008). Table 4.4 shows that controlling for occupation, seniority and experience (through age) reduces the size of the gender pay gap by around two-thirds.

Table 4.4 Gender pay gaps adjusted for compositional differences, 30 June 2008-2015
Year Unadjusted Adjusted for:
  Raw gender pay gap Occupation Occupation & seniority* Occupation, seniority* & age

2008

15.4%

6.9%

6.0%

5.1%

2009

15.4%

7.1%

6.2%

5.4%

2010

14.4%

6.2%

5.4%

4.5%

2011

14.3%

6.7%

5.7%

4.7%

2012

13.7%

6.1%

5.1%

4.4%

2013

14.2%

6.8%

5.9%

4.9%

2014

14.1%

7.2%

6.3%

5.3%

2015

14.0%

7.1%

6.4%

5.3%

* Seniority is only controlled for those in the manager and policy analyst occupation groups, due to the unavailability of data for other groups.

The factors contributing to the gender pay gap are complex. Understanding these factors better will contribute to more effective strategies to address the pay gap. One factor that hasn't been adjusted for in this analysis is the impact of caring responsibilities on career progression and pay. Anecdotally this is a key factor, alongside occupational segregation, affecting the gender pay gap. The data to represent this factor is more attainable than it has been in the past. Through the development of the prototype HRC- IDI dataset (see the Career chapter 2), SSC can begin to look at the effect of caring responsibilities on progression and retention in the Public Service.

Caring responsibilities vary significantly across gender. As at 30 June 2015, there were 642 employees on parental leave (1.4% of the Public Service workforce), made up of 637 females and 5 males. As a percentage, 99% of people who are taking parental leave are women.

While data analysis can help to understand some of the factors that contribute to pay gaps, it does not negate them as factors that need to be addressed if we are to reduce the gender pay gap further.

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