data analysis and framing the actions - sml

Data analysis and framing the actions for 2022/23

Figure 3. A map of Aotearoa showing MSD’s employees by geographic locations
Figure 3. A map of Aotearoa showing MSD’s employees by geographic locations [3]

Due to the size of MSD, there is a large breadth of data available relating to the GEPG. In the interest of transparency, relevant data has been published in full tabular form in the accompanying data appendix which also includes the definitions relating to the data (see Appendix 1). Where required due to privacy concerns or statistical significance, data has been omitted in Appendix 1.

Gender diversity is covered at a high level in this action plan to ensure that no identifying descriptors are given as the sample size for the gender diverse employees at MSD is below 100. Therefore, this document often refers to gender in a traditionally binary measurement of female and male. MSD is making conscious efforts to work on employee representation data and will continue to monitor all genders to ensure they are still being measured where possible. The reporting also does not include SOGESIC (sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics) diverse communities as the internal HR systems do not carry that level of detailed identifiers of employees.

Ninety-five point six percent of employees at MSD have opted to share the ethnicities they identify with. The ethnicity data allows people to self-identify as more than one ethnicity and means that an employee may be included in multiple different ethnicity calculations, this may mean adding ethnicity percentages may exceed 100 percent.

Where ‘other ethnicity’ is stated, it pertains to the categories of employees who have stated another ethnicity outside of Māori, European, Pacific Peoples, Asian and MELAA (Middle Eastern, Latin American and African). Similarly, with the gender diverse data, due to the sample size of this category being so low the data is only available at a high/aggregated level to ensure that any identifying descriptors are kept private. The plan also does not carry detail for disability as MSD does not have significant data on employees with disabilities. However, MSD will continue to address and action areas where disability and pay may be affected such as flexible working arrangements. MSD recognises the intersectionality between gender, ethnicity, disability and SOGESIC and where possible will continue to monitor, measure and track these pay categories internally to ensure no bias occurs.

As of 1 July 2022, MSD has a total of 8,895 employees, spread across the country (see Figure 3). Six thousand two hundred and fifty-five or 70.3 percent identify as female, 2,593 or 29.2 percent identify as male, and 26 identify outside binary gender or as gender diverse. A further 21 people have not declared or are of unknown gender; the latter two groups have been excluded from analysis for the gender pay gap due to privacy issues raised at the beginning of the plan. In 2021, MSD reported on its Gender Diverse Pay Gap (GDPG), as the average male salary being 13.1 percent higher than the average gender diverse salary. Although this has now shifted to -2.6 percent (in 2022) the sample size (26) is not statistically significant enough to draw any direct conclusions.

Gender pay gaps

Figure 4. Representation in level of pay [4] by gender
Figure 4. Representation in level of pay [4] by gender

An analysis of MSD’s data showed that 85.9 percent of female employees are employed within the core pay group. In this majority group (core), the median female salary was the same compared to the median male salary across bands, indicating that on average, the GPG of 9.5 percent was because females were under-represented in senior and higher paid roles that are typically associated with other pay groups (see Figure 4). The average gender pay gap is concentrated in the middle and higher levels of earning (refer to Appendix 1. Table 2, Table 3). Also, a median gender pay gap can be observed for women earning more than $100,000, which includes roles found in the following bands: Premium – IT, Managers and Senior Specialist – both including and excluding IT – as well as roles that have not been sized. This ties into the tightening labour market where specialist roles come at a premium (refer to Appendix 1 Table 2, Table 3).

Ethnic pay gaps

Figure 5. Ethnic pay gaps 2018/22
Figure 5. Ethnic pay gaps 2018/22

Pay gaps shown in Figure 5. indicate that Māori, Pacific and Asian people continue to be overrepresented in lower paid roles and underrepresented in higher paid roles across MSD. This is less pronounced with MELAA and Other Ethnicity employees, however, we need to consider that the large difference in sample sizes may skew these results. Figure 5. shows that while the Pacific and Māori pay gaps are steadily declining, they are still quite significant and along with Asian, MELAA and other ethnic pay gaps the focus on ethnicity is still prudent.

As almost two-thirds of MSD’s employees identify as European the representative numbers are consistent across all pay bands and working groups whereas non-European employees feature more prominently in the core groups, associated with lower pay bands, increasing the effect of occupational ethnic pay gaps (see Figure 6). Median pay gaps currently exist for Pacific, Asian, MELAA and Other Ethnicity employees across the different pay band groupings. Work is being done to support talent pipelines across the organisation to reduce occupational segregation for ethnic groups. This includes mentoring, leadership development programmes and employee-led networks (further actions are outlined in the action points in this plan). Strengthening partnerships across the organisation and with the PSA aims to continue supporting reducing average and median pay gaps.

Figure 6. Ethnicity breakdown of MSD’s senior managers compared with MSD’s employees in non-managerial roles, NZ working age population, and the Public Service
Figure 6. Ethnicity breakdown of MSD’s senior managers [5] compared with MSD’s employees in non-managerial roles [6], NZ working age population, and the Public Service [7]

Ethnic-Gender pay gaps

Figure 7. Average salary by gender and ethnicity
Figure 7. Average salary by gender and ethnicity [8]

Across different ethnic-gender groupings, it shows that average pay has increased significantly since 2019. While on average European Males continue to earn more, the salaries of the varied ethnic-gender groups are increasing more on average in comparison, which is contributing to the improvement in the gender and ethnic pay gaps. The significant increase in pay across ethnic groups can be attributed to changes in pay for the core pay group, where the majority of Māori, Pacific, Asian, MELAA and Other Ethnicity employees are employed. These changes over time include role reviews, living wage adjustments and a change to the pay and progression approach. The group most affected by ethnic and gender pay gaps are Pacific females. Continued emphasis will be placed on this group, especially through partnership with the Pacific Prosperity team and the Pacific employee led networks, in line with the focus on remuneration, recruitment and leadership representation and development.

Flexible working

In 2020, MSD released a Flexible Working Policy, with supporting guidelines, that outlined options for working flexibly including flexi-time, flexi-leave, flexi-place and flexi-role/career. Employees accessing reduced hours (less than full time but more than 30 hours) have a pay gap of 15.8 percent and employees working part-time (less than 30 hours) have a pay gap of 17.2percent. Although these numbers show clear trends one must still take into consideration that several flexible working arrangements at MSD are informal and unable to be reported on. Often these informal arrangements include working from home or from another location. Average pay gaps are intensified when working reduced or part-time hours even when pro-rated to full-time employment. These numbers do not factor in the occupation of employees who are working reduced hours, which can significantly affect the pay gap. It is important to understand who is accessing the flexible working options and how this effects the gender and ethnic pay gaps as well as those with caring responsibilities, disabilities, working parents, those that are studying and more. Especially as the data shows a higher rate of women access flexible working through flexi-time. This is being monitored and addressed in the actions for flexible-by-default.


[3]As at 1 July 2022

[4] Lower: earning less than $60,000 – typically includes front-line support roles such as Support Officer and administration roles such as Receptionist. Middle: earning between $60,000–$100,000 – typically includes front-line roles such as Case Manager and Customer Service Representative, support roles such as Advisor or Analyst and Senior Advisor or Analyst and line manager roles such as Manager Client Service Operations and Service Manager. Higher: earning over $100,000. Typical roles include high-level support roles such as Lead or Principal Advisors/Analysts and Manager or Senior Manager roles.

[5] As at 1 July 2022

[6] As at 1 July 2022

[7] Te Kawa Mataaho (30 June 2022), Workforce Data – Ethnicity in the Public Service, including Aotearoa’s working age population. Workforce Data — Ethnicity in the Public Service - Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission

[8] As at 1 July 2022

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