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The role of middle managers in progressing gender equity in the public service

Gender differences Governance Management Gender equity Public sector New Zealand

Gender inequities remain in the public service, including under-representation in leadership positions, a gender pay gap, unevenly distributed unpaid labour outside work, and conscious and unconscious biases towards women workers. This report focuses on the specific challenges that middle managers in New Zealand’s public service encounter in progressing gender equity.

The research was conducted by a team of researchers drawn from Victoria University of Wellington, Massey University and AUT, in partnership with the Ministry for Women, Te Minitatanga mō ngā Wāhine. It forms part of a wider project looking at public service middle managers’ role in progressing gender equity within New Zealand and Australia. Qualitative data was collected from staff drawn from four public service agencies. In all, 69 staff were interviewed individually or in focus groups: 11 senior executive and HR managers, and 58 managers.

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