Gender and Managerial Attainment in the New Zealand Public Sector


  • Kerry Brown Queensland University of Technology
  • Stacy Ridge Queensland University of Technology



Public sector equal employment opportunity (EEO) legislation was introduced to encourage greater diversity of representation throughout all areas of public sector employment. It has been noted that steady progress has been achieved with implementing legislated public sector EEO policies and programs to fulfil the aim of increasing the representation of EEO. However, despite the gains delivered through equity legislation and policies, there remain areas of gender differences in the public sector labour market. This research utilised EEO and employment data to analyse patterns of career progression and employment profiles in relation to public sector employees. The study examined the effects of gender segregation on careers and employment for males and females in both male dominated and female dominated public sector agencies. The findings confirm the general trend for improvements in the participation of women in the New Zealand public sector. However, there are areas that are shown to warrant attention. First, for women in male dominated agencies, the findings indicate that their representation is stable and static with poor outcomes. Second, in relation to women in female dominated agencies, results show an overall improvement in every job category. The final research area investigated the differences between male dominated and female dominated agencies. Agency characteristics identified in the research showed that all agencies were highly female dominated in the clerical classifications but male dominated agencies have significant overrepresentation of males in professional and managerial categories. Overall, the numbers of women in management and their progression through the levels of management remains problematic.


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Author Biographies

Kerry Brown, Queensland University of Technology

School of Management

Stacy Ridge, Queensland University of Technology

School of Management