All women, in all workplaces, should be paid fairly for the work they do. The gender pay gap is a long-term problem that we are making progress on - pay equity for women is a government priority, and is how we build a more inclusive economy.
As we rebuild and respond after COVID-19, our commitment to gender equity in the Public Service remains firm. Women, particularly non-European women, are more impacted by the labour market effects of pandemics and economic downturns. This is partly because more women are in occupations, sectors and work arrangements vulnerable to such shocks. It's also because of the effects of bias in employment decision-making. Gender equity matters now more than ever.
This Gender Pay Gap Action Plan provides a framework for delivering on this commitment.
The Action Plan has achieved a great deal in a short time - namely the sharpest annual drop in the Public Service gender pay gap since 2002.
Two thirds of agencies have closed pay gaps in the same or similar roles, and as a result, individual employees, women and men, are now receiving their corrected salaries. The proportion of women in leadership in the Public Service is at an all-time high, and half of our agencies are led by women.
Gender is only one of the factors contributing to people being paid fairly (or unfairly) for the work they do. This Action Plan has focused broadly on gender - the work to eliminate gender bias flows on and helps eliminate ethnic and other biases too. It is clear there is much more to do to close pay gaps and reduce bias for Māori, Pasifika, Asian, and other non-European women and men.
The Action Plan shows what can be done when gender equity is a priority, and when leaders, managers, employees, and unions collaborate on common goals. We would like to thank everyone who has worked incredibly hard to achieve this progress.
New Zealand is leading the world for pay equity and we need to continue to strive to do better The Public Service can get our own house in order and by doing this, create an example for other employers in New Zealand, and around the world. With the public and private sectors working together and sharing ideas and initiatives, we will continue to make more gains for women.