Gender divide evident in jobs data

Recent analysis reveals New Zealand’s employment market is yet to achieve gender balance – both in terms of industry and salary.

Gender divide evident in jobs data
It seems the gender divide is still alive and well in New Zealand’s employment market as recent job data reveals distinct splits across industry and salary.

The latest Trade Me Jobs data analysed applications made to the 65,000 roles advertised in the second quarter of 2016 and found significant gender splits in several sectors with men dominating applications in the executive and general management sector.

Trade Me Jobs spokesman Jeremy Wade said some difference was so be expected but admitted he was surprised at the extreme imbalance for some job types.

“We looked at all the applications from our members over the past three months and in sectors like engineering and IT, more than 80 per cent of the applications are from men,” he revealed.

While public sector roles such as banking and finance were evenly split between male and female applicants, Wade said more than 70 per cent of applications for roles in education and office administration were from women.

Wellington-based Wade acknowledged that it’s tempting to point fingers while looking at the disappointing data but urged all employers to address the imbalance.

“This isn’t about playing the blame game, and no one person or industry is at fault here,” he stressed.  “We’re all responsible for ensuring we have workplace equality and diversity.

“We need to have this conversation and think about what we’re doing that might be inhibiting people from getting into industries and roles where they can do great work.”

He also said those employers who are in areas of extreme imbalance are hurting themselves as much as potential applicants.

“Looking at these numbers we think there are a number of employers missing out on a diverse range of applicants, which in many cases is not a good thing,” he said, adding that Trade Me itself has begun to promote IT as a “fantastic career path for women.”

The data not only revealed that certain industries and roles were imbalances, but also pointed out to a worrying trend in compensation.

“Women are much less likely to apply for a high-paying role, and we saw this peak for six-figure salary roles where the proportion of women applying is just 30 per cent,” he revealed. “There’s a close relationship between lower average pay rates and sectors that are typically female-dominated, such as education.”

IT and engineering roles consistently appear in Trade Me Job’s top 10 highest paid roles each quarter while education and office/administration roles were typically lower paid.

“I’d never advocate that any job hunter chases money over enjoyment and satisfaction, but the value placed on particular roles is an important conversation for us to have,” Wade said.

On a more positive note, the data revealed that New Zealand’s employment market is currently favouring employers.

“Between October last year and March this year we saw hot competition from job hunters, despite healthy listing numbers. That pressure has eased slightly over the last three months, with a few exceptions the balance sits firmly in favour of employers still at this stage.”

Applications by gender Q2 2016
Category Female Male
Engineering 18% 82%
IT 19% 81%
Construction & roading 26% 74%
Automotive 29% 71%
Transport & logistics 30% 70%
Trades & services 31% 69%
Architecture 37% 63%
Executive & general management 38% 62%
Manufacturing & operations 39% 61%
Agriculture, fishing & forestry 40% 60%
Sales 45% 55%
Marketing, media & communications 47% 53%
Banking, finance & insurance 50% 50%
Science & technology 50% 50%
Government & council 50% 50%
Property 51% 49%
Hospitality & tourism 52% 48%
Other 54% 46%
Accounting 56% 44%
HR & recruitment 57% 43%
Retail 59% 41%
Customer service 59% 41%
Healthcare 66% 34%
Legal 67% 33%
Office & administration 71% 29%
Education 71% 29

Applications by gender and pay band Q2 2016
Pay band Percentage of applications  
  Male Female
$0-$39,999 47% 53%
$40,000-59,999 54% 46%
$60k-$79,999 66% 34%
$80k-$99,999 69% 31%
$100,000+ 70% 30%
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