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Drivers of our pay gaps

In 2020 we analysed gender and ethnic pay gaps within same or similar roles to ensure that gender and ethnicity were not influencing the salaries of current employees. As a result, 25 of 8,638 employees reviewed received an adjustment, representing less than 0.3% of our workforce. Twenty-one of these 25 employees were female, three were male and one was gender diverse. By ethnicity, 14 of these employees were European, four were Māori, four were Asian, one was Pacific, one was Middle Eastern/Latin American/African and one employee did not specify their ethnicity.

The analysis enables us to say with a measure of certainty that there is no pattern of gender and ethnic pay gaps within same or similar roles at MSD. Instead, what is driving MSD’s gender, ethnic and ethnic-gender pay gaps is vertical and occupational segregation, a pattern seen throughout the Public Service.

Segregation refers to the clustering of employees in particular levels and occupations on the basis of factors like gender and ethnicity. MSD employs a high percentage of females (70.4%) but they are clustered in the lower paying levels of the organisation. The proportion of females reduces to 50% in higher levels. Societal trends show that some sectors tend to be dominated by males while also being highly paid, whereas lower paid clerical and contact centre roles tend to be female dominated.

Research into the drivers of ethnic pay gaps in the Public Service also highlighted occupational and vertical segregation. Our analysis shows that this pattern is again mirrored at MSD.

The research showed that:

  • European employees are over-represented as managers and policy analysts
  • Māori and Pacific employees are well represented as inspectors, regulatory officers, and as social, health and education workers but less so in other professions
  • Pacific and Asian employees are highly represented as contact centre workers
  • Asian employees are highly represented as ICT professionals and technicians.

While our aim is to eliminate gender and ethnic pay gaps at MSD, the overall gender and ethnic pay gap measures are not likely to reach zero unless we have greater gender and ethnic balance across all levels of the organisation. Our actions for 2021-2022 focus on addressing the drivers of our pay gaps.

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