Chief executive remuneration figures show gender inequality at the top

The public service chief executive remuneration figures released today are another reminder of the need for action around gender equality, says the National Council of Women of New Zealand.

National President Rae Duff said of the 29 public service leaders listed on the State Services Commission’s Chief Executives webpage (, nine were female.

“The remuneration figures released today show that the female chief executives received less remuneration than their male counterparts. Using quite basic analysis, of the 29 chief executives receiving remuneration of more than $400k 17 were men and three were women. Of those with remuneration under $400k, six were female and three male.

Rae Duff said this does not necessarily show that these women were being paid less for doing the same job. They could have less experience or be heading up smaller agencies.

“But regardless of greater analysis and knowledge of the chief executives circumstances, the remuneration is just another example that shows we have a way to go to get gender equality.”

Rae Duff said the release of the chief executive remuneration came hard on the heels of the commission’s release of the Human Capability Report. This said the public service gender pay gap was 14.1 per cent. It said 60 per cent of the workforce was female, but 42 per cent of senior leadership were women.

“We welcome the public release of this information as data is important to show us how we are tracking. The accompanying comment in the capability report is good for awareness of the issue. As the capability report said, the reasons for the gender differences are complex. Complexity however is no excuse. The sexism in our society that leads to lower pay at all levels and fewer career options has a real impact on women.

“There are many employers and managers of all genders who do a good job of providing the right conditions for men and women to be equal in the work place. Whether that’s through providing flexible work conditions to all genders to support household responsibilities, having good conversations to find out about barriers to stepping up, or ensuring staff are paid equitably.”

Rae Duff said the public sector generally provided good leadership training for managers and it should be mandatory for these sessions to focus on how to close the gender gap.


To see the remuneration information released today visit

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply