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Pay equity and increasing female participation in the workforce

CHAIR (Ms Jackson) —Good morning everyone. This is the 28th public hearing of the inquiry of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment and Workplace Relations into pay equity and associated issues relating to increasing female participation in the workforce. I welcome the representative of the New Zealand government’s Department of Labour, who is participating by teleconference to today’s hearing. Although the committee does not require you to give evidence under oath, I should advise you that this hearing is a legal proceeding of the parliament and therefore has the same standing as proceedings of the respective houses. I would also like to advise you that whilst these proceedings are covered by parliamentary privilege in Australia the protections and immunities of the Australian parliament do not reach beyond our borders. I also advise you that these proceedings are being broadcast on the internet. We have received your submission, which is the New Zealand Pay and Employment Equity Plan of Action 2004 to 2009, and we authorised it for publication earlier this morning. I wonder if you would be interested in making a brief opening statement before the committee asks you some questions.

Evidence was taken via teleconference—

Ms Hall —I would like to do that. Thank you very much. My evidence today deals with the activities that were carried out in the New Zealand five-year Pay and Employment Equity Plan of Action. It is about what was done and how and what is known about the results to date. It does not cover policy issues or assessments, including evaluation of the program, or identification or analysis of best practice. I will not be able to offer opinions on the Australian situation, obviously.

I do hope that what I can talk about is of interest to the committee, and this is what I would like to draw to your attention. The plan of action was implemented between 2004 and 2009 following the findings of the Tripartite Pay and Employment Equity Taskforce that the gender pay gap in the public sector arises from the way that women’s jobs are valued, the jobs that women are in and the relationship between the structure of paid work and women’s job choices and progression. The task force found that the gender pay gap is persistent and troubling, that it is not good for the economy and that it is not in the interests of the majority of employers or employees.

The plan of action operated within relevant existing New Zealand legislation and commitments under international conventions. The legislation includes the Equal Pay Act, the Employment Relations Act, especially the good faith bargaining provisions and the antidiscrimination provisions, the Human Rights Act, and the good employer requirements in the State Sector Act and the Crown Entities Act, including requirements for equal employment opportunities programs. New Zealand is a signatory to various international conventions including the Equal Remuneration Convention, the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. No new legislation was introduced. The plan of action operated within the existing fiscal and public sector management arrangements, requirements and accountabilities rather than introducing any new ones, and there were no new institutions introduced.

Pay and employment equity reviews were carried out across the public sector. Government policy required the reviews to be conducted in the 38 public service departments, 21 district health boards, that is hospitals, and the New Zealand Blood Service, in the kindergarten sector, in the public school sector and in tertiary institutions. The government decided to lead by example and to use the public sector program to improve understanding of gender pay and employment equity and as a model for other sectors. The gender pay gap in New Zealand is higher in the public sector than in the workforce generally, in part because of the higher concentration of women in the public sector and their greater concentration in female dominated, lower paid occupations.

There have been 67 public sector workplace or sector reviews covering about 13½ per cent of all New Zealand employees; another 18 reviews are underway. The reviews investigated whether there were gender differences in remuneration, in types and levels of employment and in experiences of workplace culture and, if so, whether the gender differences were explainable and justifiable. If not, the gender issues were prioritised for response.

Participants used the review tools and training courses provided by the Department of Labour, while the conduct of the review and its implementation remained the responsibility of those conducting it. The reviews were carried out by employers, unions and employees working in partnership in committees of six to eight members. Typically, the reviews involved six to eight half-day meetings over a period of six to eight months with the support of a full-time or part-time project manager. By identifying what was most valuable in those public service reviews, the review process was then streamlined for completion over three months, with just four committee meetings and a part-time project manager.

The evidence based and cooperative nature of the reviews produced extensive qualitative and quantitative information and analysis about gender equity and employment and developed workable solutions that were agreed by employers, unions and chief executives. Much of this information and analysis had not previously been available.

The participants often found the human resources data and the knowledge of gender equity that were required for the review quite challenging. Some could not meet the minimum data requirements to carry out a pay equity analysis—that is, data on gender, occupation, proportion of full-time equivalent employment and pay. An extensive education program was conducted to raise awareness of how gender can affect employment opportunities, rewards and experiences. The review process in itself was a significant education and awareness-raising exercise for employers, unions, human resources practitioners and others. Hundreds of people have now been directly involved in review committees, and many thousands have been involved in reviews in various ways.

Implementation of response plans is in the very early stages as most review coverage was achieved after June 2008. The gender pay gap changed by almost the same proportion in the public service as in the workforce overall between June 2004 and June 2008. Current government policy supports continuing implementation of pay and employment equity response plans, excluding pay investigations of female dominated occupations. It recognises the obligations of public sector chief executives to ensure that they continue to address and respond to any identified gender inequities as part of good management practice and being a good employer. Government will encourage the voluntary participation of public and private sector organisations in pay and employment equity projects.

New tools were developed for gender-neutral job evaluation and skills analysis. The tools enable better recognition of skills that often overlooked or undervalued in women’s jobs, especially the skills involved in caring for people and in integrating work streams across multiple and fragmented jobs and activities. Undervaluation of women’s work has been estimated as accounting for 20 per cent or 25 per cent of the gender pay gap. Developing those tools involved significant engagement with job evaluation providers and human resources practitioners and raised awareness of gender bias in job evaluation in New Zealand.

The Department of Labour will continue to provide to both public and private organisations the pay and employment equity tools and resources, including the review tools and the equitable job evaluation system. That concludes my opening remarks. I am happy to respond to your questions.

CHAIR —Thank you very much for that overview of the action plan. Were there specific kinds of evaluation tools? Did you have a noticeable impact on the pay equity gap in New Zealand?

Ms Hall —As I said, most of the reviews were completed in June 2008 and later, so the opportunities for implementation have been pretty limited so far. One of the things that we had been doing was following up on a six-monthly or so basis with the organisations that had completed their reviews. We were getting progress reports from them on what they were undertaking following the things they had put in their response plans. Some organisations were able to report that they had closed their gender pay gap entirely or in part. Some others had increased the proportion of women that they had in their senior management jobs. But that implementation is in the very early stages.

CHAIR —I am curious about the contestable fund. It seems from reading some of the information that, whilst it had $1 million in it and that was an annual allocation, it was not necessarily enough to support all of the public sector agencies doing their equity reviews, and it also seems that the fund was used for other related projects. Was it also used to assist with or were there any argued cases where there was disagreement about the value of work or the value of a job?

Ms Hall —There was no funding provided from the contestable fund. The framework of the plan of action was not to actually pursue legal proceedings. It was to carry out these investigations for the information of the parties which they might then use in bargaining or other kinds of discussion. So it did not really have that kind of an aspect to it. The main use of the fund was for the employment of the project managers to assist the organisations to get the reviews carried out. It was a contribution to the costs of doing that; it was not an entire compensation for the costs to organisations of doing the reviews. Also some of the money from the fund went to the Council of Trade Unions to undertake awareness raising and educational activities with their members. One of the things that they did was produce a DVD that was cartoon animation that explained the equal pay for work of equal value issues in a very straightforward, engaging way. The bulk of the contestable fund was for the conduct of the reviews.

CHAIR —And that was public sector specific reviews?

Ms Hall —Yes. The whole plan of action related only to the public sector.

CHAIR —Can you tell me: how was the fund administered? How were decisions made about the allocation of resources?

Ms Hall —There was an executive officer for the fund who worked for me in the Pay and Employment Equity Unit, and we received the applications and provided assessments of them to our tripartite steering group that was a sort of oversight body for the plan of action. They went through the applications. For each round of the contestable fund they developed criteria for funding and they assessed the applications against those criteria and made recommendations through the head of our department to the minister. So ultimately the minister approved the funding on the basis of the recommendations from the steering group. The steering group was representatives of employers and unions in the three parts of the public sector plus the EEO commissioner and me.

CHAIR —I have other questions, but I am sure other committee members also have questions.

Mr HAASE —Thank you, Chair. I am wondering how big your unit was, Philippa. What was the staffing level?

Ms Hall —Seven people.

Mr HAASE —That is nearly twice the size of Scotland’s similar operation. I see that your future is in jeopardy; is that the case?

Ms Hall —The five-year plan of action has been concluded and the unit will not be continuing.

Mr HAASE —Are you allowed to have a public reaction to that? Is there anything you can tell us about how you feel?

Ms Hall —I will not comment on that.

Mr HAASE —Okay, I understand that. In your opening remarks you made the statement that the findings had been reported on but there was no further response to that as yet, and that is a shame, of course. In talking to you at this stage I would have like to have known what some of your findings were. Is there anything that you can report in that regard, perhaps even along the lines of the impact on businesses that were analysed in that regard, and how onerous it was seen by businesses to have these audits carried out?

Ms Hall —There is a quite extensive overview report that will shortly be published about what the organisations came up with in their response plans and what they have been doing to the extent that they have been able to implement what they have been able to implement. That will be publicly available pretty soon. In relation to how they found it, most of the organisations that carried out reviews did so with the assistance of funding from the contestable fund, and part of the requirements for that funding was to provide an evaluation of their projects, and that included them saying how they found it. For the most part they found it a fairly positive experience, and generally having started off not expecting to find anything much, they were interested to find what they did find. For the most part they were happy to be doing something about it.

Mr HAASE —You are not aware at this stage of any intention to follow-up, to measure the situation at some point later in time?

Ms Hall —The government has indicated that its expects continuing implementation of the response plans. The arrangements for reporting on how the organisations are going are a bit different in the public service, health and education. In the public service, for example, organisations will be reporting on the progress that they are making under the State Services Commission’s Equality and Diversity program.

Mr HAASE —When you were trying to implement this process of analysis, what were the hurdles that you identified across various ministries? Did you have cabinet support? Did you have support at the highest level, and was there an instruction to cooperate with your endeavours or did you have to go out and knock some hurdles down?

Ms Hall —It was a government policy that the plan of action should be undertaken. The plan was actually established by a range of decisions of cabinet so it was known that the activities had the support of cabinet, and on that basis the public sector expected that they would participate. That particular thing was a given and our work was to help them to get the most out of that.

Mr HAASE —Resistance would have been futile.

Ms Hall —It was a government policy.

Mr HAASE —What was the mood? Did they feel that they were being bludgeoned? I know you have made a comment in relation to this previously, but the relationship between your group and those departments being analysed; was it a good working relationship, you did not have the tenseness that often exists when somebody is being scrutinised?

Ms Hall —For our part we genuinely were there to help them. The expectation that these things would be done was the government’s expectation and it was a decision of ministers. We were there to offer tools and expertise, advice and problem solving, so for the most part we had a very positive relationship with the organisations. They were accountable for getting a job done and getting a good job done whether they had anything much to do with us or not. For the most part they actually did make a fair bit of use of our assistance. In all cases we provided the start-up education and training for everybody as to what this was all about and what kinds of tools and resources were available to them. Also we facilitated an ongoing network of the project managers who were involved in doing these projects so that they could have the benefit of each other’s experiences. They found that very positive as well. You could very often find that, for example, this organisation is now having a difficulty coming up with a workable solution, but another organisation already had come up with something, and they were able to learn from each other and also able to save a lot of work.

Mr HAASE —Thank you for that.

Mr NEUMANN —I think Barry was looking, Philippa, for whether they were cooperative or whether there was coercion involved. Speaking of that, what sorts of enforcement powers—if any—do you have? How have you exercised those, if you possess any?

Ms Hall —We do not possess any enforcement powers at all. The plan was set up by decisions of cabinet, so the chief executives have the responsibility they ordinarily would have had to implement those decisions and to be held accountable in the ordinary ways—like through their own performance review process, through their own reporting through their annual reports. Just in all the ordinary ways they were accountable for doing what government had decided they should do.

Mr NEUMANN —How was your reporting, your accountability, in your unit?

Ms Hall —Our accountability was to a steering group. We have the ordinary Public Service line accountability, but in relation to this program the accountability was to the tripartite steering group, which sat outside the department. That was the employers and the unions from the Public Service, public health and public education. They would meet every month or every two months, depending on how much work they had to do, and we would provide ongoing reporting about our work, how it was going, what was coming out of the review process and so on. The steering group itself then provided regular public reports, including its own assessments of how things were going.

Mr PERRETT —Philippa, just continuing on with that question: in terms of that accountability, would it be a director-general’s KPI type of accountability? You said ‘normal Public Service accountability’.

Ms Hall —Yes. The cabinet decision was that chief executives would be held accountable.

Mr PERRETT —So was it about measurable changes in gaps?

Ms Hall —It was for what they did. I think the exact wording of the cabinet decision was ‘for the quality and clarity of their actions in doing what they had been expected to do under the plan of action’. It was not framed in terms of ‘to produce a one per cent a year improvement in the gender pay gap’ or anything. It was, ‘Okay, decisions have been made that a plan of action conducted in this way should have an impact on this problem and the responsibility of Public Service chief executives is to undertake these activities and to do so in a clear and good quality way.’ That is what their accountability was.

Mr PERRETT —I am just thinking of the Queensland case. The head public servants have things for people with disabilities or people from multicultural backgrounds and you can look at empirical data to assess those KPIs. They did not go down that path in terms of the contractual relationship with the public servants?

Ms Hall —No. The way in which those accountabilities in relation to chief executives are done is fairly varied. The state services commissioner and each chief executive have some particular framework for accountability and that is not the same chief executive by chief executive.

Ms BIRD —Philippa, you made the point that the underestimation of the value of women’s work accounted for approximately 25 per cent of the pay equity gap.

Ms Hall —Yes.

Ms BIRD —I am wondering if you could fill us in. Do you have a broader information you received on the breakdown of the gap? The gap is 25—

Ms Hall —No. That is an assessment that is based on international research, really. I am sure you are familiar with the research that adjusts the gender pay gap according to hours, different types of work and those sorts of things. It comes down to a gap where it seems to be about the way that the work has been valued.

Ms BIRD —That is fine. I just wondered whether you had done something specific locally.

Ms Hall —No.

Ms BIRD —Thanks.

Mr SYMON —Philippa, I have just been out for a couple of minutes and I hope I do not repeat a question that has already been asked. My interest in your submission—and you mentioned it at the start—was that the gender pay gap was larger in the Public Service in New Zealand than in the private sector.

Ms Hall —Yes.

Mr SYMON —I wanted to expand on that and test your knowledge. What influences might there be in the private sector that would cause it to be more equal? Would it be, for instance, that there are more people in the private sector on minimum wages and that therefore there is less scope for a gap? Is that a valid thought of mine?

Ms Hall —I think that the research that we have had here suggests that it is fundamentally an occupational composition thing. First of all, the Public Service, public health and public education are significantly more female dominated than the workforce as a whole. The concentration of women in the public sector is more pronounced in the lower paid, female dominated jobs in the public sector than in the private sector. It is about the types of jobs there are in the public sector. That leads you to other questions. The tendency is for those large public sector based occupations that are female dominated to be lower paid.

Mr SYMON —That reflects what we have heard in relation to our Public Service too. There are different bands and different departments, and it would seem that in many cases over here the women are located in the lower bands or in the lower paying departments. That is interesting. I also note further on from your table in your submission that not all female dominated occupations were affected by gender related undervaluation. You specifically noted teaching and nursing and their access to collective bargaining and labour market mechanisms as addressing some of that. Were there any professions outside of those where that type of access to workplace bargaining has resolved some of these problems?

Ms Hall —It would be difficult to say without investigating them. I did not quite tie it as closely together as you did, although I do not object to what you said. Teaching and nursing had relatively recent pay equity oriented campaigns here that resulted in significant pay increases through the collective bargaining stream. Sometimes, as I noted and as you have noted, other labour market mechanisms—like supply and demand—will remove an undervaluation, as collective bargaining sometimes can.

Mr SYMON —I have one more question, again around the same section. Does the quarterly employment survey undertaken by Statistics New Zealand contain statistics on more than just hourly remuneration and weekly remuneration? Are other forms—even non-cash forms—included in that survey?

Ms Hall —It is essentially about remuneration. It has other break-ups, like by industry. It cuts the workforce a few different ways consistent with what you can do with the sample size. It breaks it up to the extent of saying, ‘Here’s base rate, here’s overtime and here’s total earning,’ but it is not broken up more than that.

Mr SYMON —Thank you.

CHAIR —Graham, you had a supplementary question.

Mr PERRETT —Further to what Mike asked, Philippa, I am not sure if you have the data but if we look at the composition—the gender make-up—of the professions like teaching, nursing or the Public Service, I would suggest that 60 years ago in Australia the number of males in teaching was significantly different from now.

Ms Hall —Yes.

Mr PERRETT —I am not sure about nursing. Obviously there would be more males in nursing than there were 60 years ago. For the Public Service, perhaps it would be the same. Once upon a time there might have been more female typists and more female bodies there but obviously in Australia women had to retire once they married or became pregnant. Do you have any data looking at the relative wages of those professions as the gender make-up has changed over time? Do you have data going back 60 years?

Ms Hall —No, we were not looking at the history. We were really very much trying to get a snapshot now as a benchmark for the future.

Mr PERRETT —I just had it put to me over a glass of red wine, I think it was, that as teaching had changed its average wage, compared to the average male weekly earnings, has declined as the percentage of females in the teaching force has increased. I would need to track down the data and whoever gave me the data. Do you have any comment in terms of the New Zealand experience?

Ms Hall —It is not something that we have studied specifically for this program.

Mr RAMSEY —I refer to page 23 of your submission, and it is something you mentioned in your preamble as well—that the gender pay gap fell by about 1.6 per cent for the workforce as a whole, and 1.7 per cent for the public service over the period that your unit has been in operation. This would have to question how effective the whole thing has been.

Ms Hall —I just draw your attention to the comment I made that almost all of the coverage of the review has been achieved since June 2008. In the period since June 2008 we have had the completion of the sector reviews for health and education and the big public service reviews. So, looking at the proportion that had concluded their reviews before June 2008, it is two-point-something per cent. But if you look at organisations that had completed by 2007—which would have given them the 2008-09 year to have done something—it was a miniscule proportion. I just think it shows that this was a significant undertaking for the organisations. It was not able to be done perhaps as quickly as they and we might have hoped. It is really just too early to know what the eventual outcomes of this will be but it is possible to know from the reports that we have had that some things have changed. But securing change that changes those top-level indicators—I think I made some comments about this as well—is just not a quick thing. They are big shifts.

Mr RAMSEY —Thanks for that, and you did allude to that before. The other thing—and you raised it a number of times—is how difficult it is to compare cross-organisationally, where certain industries are just undervalued. Do you actually have a mindset on where we ought to go to try and address those issues, in an overall sense?

Ms Hall —I think that we have got substantial international literature on gender-related undervaluation. We have also got the findings of the Australian pay equity inquiries that said that gender-related undervaluation has got certain characteristics. It does not have to have the whole list of them but it tends to be in service sector occupation, smaller workplaces, high part time and casualisation, low union density and areas where there has never been a formal evaluation of the work. There is a range of characteristics that have been found in the cases and in the research to be associated with a high likelihood of gender-related undervaluation. In the end, of course, you cannot know until you actually do go in and do the work of evaluating what the jobs are worth.

Mr RAMSEY —In that context it is interesting that there was such a large pay gap in the public service because that would not tick many of those boxes, really. It is organised, it is structural, it is unionised—it is all those things. And yet you identify in New Zealand that the public service was quite a culprit when it came to undervaluation of women’s work.

Ms Hall —I am saying that the public service as a whole has a particular complexion. If you pick out particular occupations you would have to look at the particular occupations and their history. It may be that many of the public service occupations do not have those characteristics and some of them do, and that is some of the lower paid ones.

CHAIR —From some of the evidence presented to our committee it is very clear that there is a lack of knowledge or recognition from the general community, as well as employers and others, that a pay equity gap does exist and that when most people discover there is a gap they generally feel that it is not fair and should be addressed. I think a number of us were also surprised at how big the gap was, even amongst professional occupations in the private sector—lawyers, architects and the like. One of the issues in that area is transparency of remuneration. I wondered whether anything had happened or whether your unit had done anything in this area, because, particularly where there are individual contracts negotiated at a professional level or in a deregulated environment, a lot of women indicated that they did not know what a fair and reasonable rate to ask for was.

Ms Hall —On the first part of what you said, we certainly saw that very plainly. We had hundreds of people through our training courses who, for the most part, were very surprised that this was an issue and one of the size that it is, including the human resources management people, who really just thought that this would not turn out to be the case. They were surprised to see that it did. I think that point is in common: that the awareness of the issue is not great.

On the issue of the levels of transparency about remuneration policies and practices, that is certainly something that we saw a great deal about in the reviews, which were in-depth workplace studies. When they started digging into the question of why we have these gender pay caps, for example, in starting rates for the same jobs—why do we have male/female differences for the same job—they sometimes found that it was related to the process by which people were put in particular parts of the pay distribution when they started their job. More than half of the reviews found an unequal starting rate between men and women. The differences in starting rates were between, say, one and 28 per cent. Almost all of the organisation that then started digging into their starting rates came to the conclusion that the gender difference was not justified. The direction of their response was to decide to have much more transparent policies about how they set a starting rate.

CHAIR —In New Zealand you had a deregulated labour market for a while—I am sorry but I cannot recall the specific dates—and I assume the prevalence of individual contracts in your public service resulting from that historical background would be quite different to the situation that prevailed in Australia, at least until recent times.

Ms Hall —I too expect it would be.

CHAIR —On the data that you gathered, these reviews that you have undertaken sound incredibly detailed and labour-intensive and time-intensive. As a result of that it is probably very good quality research that identifies to an individual agency that they have a problem and it needs addressing. We have been toying with the idea and we have in place at the moment in Australia, through the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency, a requirement for reporting on pay equity issues or doing a pay equity analysis where there are over 100 employees. Do you have a view about whether it is better to have a mandatory reporting requirement, which may help raise awareness of a problem within an industry, organisation or workplace, or whether a more ‘voluntary’ arrangement, where there is a much more detailed audit, is a better approach?

Ms Hall —I cannot really give an opinion on that. This was round 1. This was looking into things that had never been looked into, and we envisage that you would need an in-depth look. We certainly intended that future reviews would be a very much less time-intensive process. We had redesigned the process and the tools so that a repeat review in five years time or so would not be as demanding. I really could not, in a general sense, give a view on the mandatory or voluntary reviews.

CHAIR —That is fine. For further clarification, do you have compulsory superannuation in New Zealand?

Ms Hall —No. People have had access more recently to being able to contribute, with some employer fund matching. But the retirement income situations are different in the two countries. New Zealand superannuation is a universal benefit and it is not based on contributions, and it is a higher rate than the Australian age pension, so the two systems are not the same.

CHAIR —Hopefully you will not have the same crisis looming for women in New Zealand as we have in Australia.

Ms Hall —It certainly makes a difference. You have a universal system at two-thirds of the average wage that is not contributory.

CHAIR —Thank you. Barry, you had additional questions?

Mr HAASE —Yes. Philippa, I am wondering, with the benefit of hindsight, what you might change in your Pay and Employment Equity Unit if you were doing the job all over again.

Ms Hall —I cannot comment very much on that. One thing I would say is that whatever solutions people try to implement recognise that you need good data—and the data that is around might not be as good as people think it is—and you need to understand the gender equity issues, and the understanding available might not be where you would like to see it. Those are important things to take account of in whatever it is that people design.

Mr HAASE —Are you saying, perhaps, that you would put more emphasis on the awareness campaign, the education campaign?

Ms Hall —I am not saying what I would do, because that is not really my call. I am just saying that that seems to me to be something really worth paying attention to.

Mr HAASE —That is good.

CHAIR —The Close the Gap unit in Scotland felt that they had, for want of a better word, wasted some of their money on advertising about the issue of pay equity because their view was—it may be similar to yours—that it was not until many people actually confronted the real-life figures within their own organisation that there was an acceptance that they had an issue in their organisation.

Ms Hall —I could not agree more. Even if people think, in the general sense, that there may be an issue, the issue is always positioned as ‘out there’ and ‘back then’. The fact that it is here in our place, it is a current issue, it is way worse than we would have imagined and we turn out to be considerably worse than other organisations in our sector—those were all big shocks.


Mr HAASE —I do not have any more questions, Philippa, except to confirm that the fact that the unit is not going to be continued was something you were well aware of before setting out; is that the case? It had a lifetime?

Ms Hall —It was designed as a five-year plan.

Mr HAASE —Thank you for confirming that.

CHAIR —Are there any other questions?

Mr SYMON —Going back to the issue of female dominated professions—that is probably the right word—I am just looking at the footnotes in your submission and I found one that is defined as 70 per cent female. So that obviously applied to the teachers and the nurses we were talking about before. What other types if industries in New Zealand fall within that definition?

Ms Hall —New Zealand has a pretty gender segregated workforce. Nearly half of New Zealand women are working in occupations that are actually 80 per cent or more female dominated. They include a lot of the supporting occupations in health and education and a very big chunk of clerical and administrative people. It is not dissimilar to Australia. There are substantial levels of employment in retail. There are quite a number of large, female-dominated occupations.

Mr SYMON —Were there any other specifically female dominated occupations in the public service sector?

Ms Hall —The clerical occupations would be. It depends where you draw the line around what the public sector is. But the predominance of employment in all of the occupations in the education and health sectors is women.

CHAIR —The Scots referred to it as the five Cs—cleaning, catering, caring, child care and cashiers.

Ms Hall —Yes.

CHAIR —Was there a reasonable interaction or reporting line between your unit and the government’s broader women’s policy department, unit or area?

Ms Hall —One of the things that operated throughout the process was that while we were implementing the program we were also carrying out ongoing policy development for the next stages of it and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs was a participant on an ongoing basis in that policy development process. We have various reasons to be in contact with them more informally but on a formal basis there was a cross-departmental officials group that operated throughout the plan of action.

CHAIR —I am also extremely interested in some of the policy development that you did—the guidelines for carrying out pay investigations and the gender-neutral job evaluation tool—and I wonder if we may be able to obtain copies of those for the committee to look at.

Ms Hall —Certainly.

CHAIR —Thank you for your participation today. It has been very useful and helpful. I would be grateful if you would forward the information we have requested to the committee secretariat. You will be sent a copy of the transcript of you evidence to which you can make corrections of grammar and fact.

Resolved (on motion by Mr Haase):

That this committee authorises publication, including publication on the parliamentary database, of the transcript of the evidence given before it at public hearing this day.

Committee adjourned at 12.14 pm