Gender, transgender and intersex

Gender is an individual’s internal sense of being a woman, a man, neither of these, both or somewhere along a spectrum. Gender is not fixed or unable to be changed. Gender information for public servants has been available since Workforce Data was first produced in 2000, but until 2018 only binary – male/female – data was available.

The latest Workforce Data for 2021 shows 61.8% are female and 37.9% are male. Results from Te Taunaki show a similar female/male split but show a greater number of those with other genders at 0.5% (0.4% who are another gender, 0.1% with multiple genders).

Te Taunaki | Public Service Census 2021 also asked if people were transgender or had an intersex variation. Transgender refers to people whose gender is different to the sex assigned at their birth, while intersex denotes a number of different variations in a person's bodily characteristics that are more diverse than strict medical definitions of male or female.

Results indicate that 0.5% of the Public Service are transgender, while 0.2% are intersex.

StatsNZ have released June 2020 data which combines other genders with indications of a person being transgender to provide a single figure for ‘transgender and non-binary’ people. This is 0.8% of the New Zealand adult population. This matches the figure for Public Service staff from Te Taunaki.

Te Taunaki results indicate that the experience of working in the Public Service can vary by gender, particularly for those who are of another gender or multiple genders, transgender, or intersex. For example, in the questions on inclusive workplaces:

  • 82% of staff report ‘feeling comfortable being themselves at work/with their colleagues’. This drops to 72% for intersex staff, 65% for transgender staff, and 61% for those of another gender or multiple genders.
  • 81% agreed that ‘people in their workgroup behave in an accepting manner towards people from diverse backgrounds’. For transgender staff this was 69%, the same (69%) for those of another gender or multiple genders, and 59% for intersex staff.
  • the results are closer for the question on whether people ‘feel accepted as a valued member of their team’. Overall, 79% agreed with this. There was also agreement from 77% of staff of another gender or multiple genders, 73% from transgender staff, and 63% from intersex staff.

People of another gender or multiple genders:

  • make up 0.5% of all staff, but account for a smaller 0.2% of managers and leaders
  • agree they receive learning and development support and opportunities at very similar levels to females and males
  • have slightly higher qualification levels than males or females.

Overall, 97.2% of staff felt that most people gendered them correctly. This is lower for people of another gender or multiple genders (52.9%), transgender people (63.8%) or intersex people (83.1%).

For more data, see the Census Drill down data cubes.

Sexual Identity

A person’s sexual identity is how they think of their own sexuality and which terms they identify with. In Te Taunaki, 90.5% of respondents identified as heterosexual or straight, with 4.3% identifying as bisexual, 2.1% as gay and 1.5% as lesbian. 1.0% identified as another sexual identity. These sexual minorities are considerably larger than in the New Zealand adult population. A June 2020 report from StatsNZ reported that 3.7% of people identified with a sexual minority: 1.2% gay or lesbian, 1.7% bisexual, and 0.8% with another sexual identity.

Te Taunaki results indicate that the experience of working in the Public Service can vary by sexual identity. For example, in the questions on inclusive workplaces:

  • 82% of people report ‘feeling comfortable being themselves at work/with their colleagues’. This compares to 79% for gay and lesbian staff, 74% for bisexual staff, and 70% for other identities.
  • 81% agreed that ‘people in their workgroup behave in an accepting manner towards people from diverse backgrounds’. For gay and lesbian staff this was 79%, 76% for bisexual staff, and 72% for other identities.
  • the results are closer for the question on whether people ‘feel accepted as a valued member of their team’. Overall, 79% agreed with this. There was also agreement from 79% of gay or lesbian staff, 78% from bisexual staff, and 77% from other identities.

For more data, see the Census Drill down data cubes, where gay and lesbian results are presented separately.

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