Proctor-Thomson, S., Donnelly, N. & Plimmer, G.
Wellington: Public Service Association & Industrial Relations Centre, Victoria University of Wellington
Primary Research
Area of focus: 

This independent study of women working in the New Zealand public sector was commissioned by the Public Service Association (PSA) union, stemming from observations that women experience an average pay gap of 18-30 percent compared with their male counterparts, and that their careers often appear to plateau early.

The survey examined availability and use of flexible working arrangements, childcare arrangements, women's influence at work and career planning options. Overall it was found that women reported a good work/life balance, but many worked involuntary overtime and were not compensated. Access to flexible work arrangements was variable, often being left to the individual to manage, and with 37 percent of women having to fit their working hours to the demands of employers. Thirty-one percent of women were primary carers for children under 18, and 77 percent identified that they were volunteers within their communities.

Forty-three percent of women reported experiencing bullying at their current organisation, and one in three had encountered discrimination, most often on grounds of gender, age or employment status. Examples are provided of bullying behaviours experienced.

Data is presented on women's career plans, the availability of development options, and the perceived importance of various career supports, where managerial support and training were deemed the most valuable.