Ministry of Defence Evaluation Division
Wellington: Ministry of Defence
Area of focus: 
New Zealand

This review of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) assesses the degree to which women are treated equitably, achieve career progression and are safe from harassment, bullying and assault within the military professions.

NZDF has higher levels of gender diversity than the military of many comparable nations, but little progress has been made recently and the number of women in the force has been declining over the past five years. Statistics are presented on women's and men's progression through all stages of the NZDF lifecycle and a cohort analysis examines pay and promotion gaps between the genders. Women's attrition rates are shown to be greater than men's at every stage of career progression.

Issues surrounding family-friendly policies such as parental leave and flexible career progression are discussed in terms of the unique framework of the military. The report finds that women are not represented at senior levels as only warfare branches (from which women were previously excluded) are eligible for promotion to these levels; women are currently still under-represented in these trades. There has been a marked drop in women reporting harassment, but bullying continues to affect women more than men. The report provides recommendations of four categories of action which should be taken to recruit, retain and progress women, with individual actions listed and outcome goals set for 2015 and 2018.