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Pacific women lowest paid in public service

Graphic: EEO Commissioner Saunoamaali’i Dr Karanina Sumeo

A pay gap of 21% for Pacific women working in the public service must be addressed urgently, according to the EEO Commissioner.

A pay gap of 21% for Pacific women working in the public service must be addressed urgently, Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Saunoamaali'i Dr Karanina Sumeo said.

Dr Sumeo was commenting on the findings in the State Services Commission's Our People: Public Service Workforce Data 2018 report.

"The pay gap for Pacific women is alarming at 21%. Pacific women continue to receive the lowest increases in pay," Dr Sumeo said.

"It is simply unacceptable that the Public Service has done little to address this issue since 2008," she said.

The trend in the Public Service ethnic pay gaps indicate that not only are Māori, Pacific and Asian ethnicities the lowest paid but are still under-represented in the top three tiers of Public Service management.

"We need the State Services Commission to work on effective policies. As the EEO Commissioner, I would personally welcome the opportunity to discuss targeted actions to see these appalling gaps close," Dr Sumeo said.

The Human Rights Commission supports the section on Rainbow communities in the report for the first time. However, there is a need for the Public Service to be truly inclusive in the collection of data and information across the entire spectrum of New Zealand's sex, gender, and sexuality diverse communities.

"The Public Service must provide an environment where people feel safe to bring their whole selves to the workplace," Dr Sumeo said.

"We would also like to see more meaningful data about disabled people in the public sector workforce. We cannot know how well the public sector reflects the communities it serves if some people are not counted."

"The Public Service must provide accessible and inclusive environments so that all employees, in particular the Rainbow community and disabled people, feel safe to be included in data and information gathering," Dr Sumeo said.

Date: 14 December 2018

Source: New Zealand Human Rights Commission


Image credits

  1. EEO Commissioner Saunoamaali’i Dr Karanina Sumeo - New Zealand Human Rights Commission