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Gender equality – key performance measures


How are we performing?

When it comes to measuring our performance, what gender equality measures should we be looking at to give us a true reflection of our progress?

Much data in the public domain focuses on the number of women in senior roles and in governance. Whilst these are important performance indicators, if used in isolation, they risk overlooking broader gender equality needs and driving decisions that could in fact be having an adverse affect on progress with gender equality.

The following metrics provide a broad set of gender equality measures, along with the most recent available data for New Zealand.

You may also wish to read The state of gender equality in New Zealand – what the reports say.

Metric Result Source
(not all metrics are available annually)
Contrast measure
Number of women in senior roles 19% (NZ private sector, 2015)

(NZX – 2016)

Human Rights Commission: Tracking Equality at Work 2015; 

NZX Diversity reporting

31% (NZ private sector, 2014)

(NZX – 2015)

Number of women in governance 17% (NZX – 2016) NZX Diversity reporting 17% (NZX – 2015)
Childlessness among educated women
(with Bachelor’s degree or higher)
18% 2013 Census 13% (all other women); 10% (women with no qualifications)
Mothers[1] not in the labour force  27.7% (~132,000) Statistics New Zealand – Mothers in the New Zealand Workforce (2014) 12.7% for women with no dependent children
Percentage of pre-school children enrolled in fulltime daycare for 42 hours or more[2] 30-42 hours: 20%
42 hours+: 8.5%
Ministry of Education (2014 statistics) Year 2000[3] stats:
30-42 hours: 11%
42 hours+: 2.8%
Gender pay gap 11.8% (2016) Ministry for Women Lowest gap of 9.1 percent achieved in 2012
Global Gender Gap Report – New Zealand score  0.781 (78.1% parity) Global Gender Gap Report 2016 Highest score of 0.788 achieved in 2009
Global Gender Gap Report – New Zealand rank 9th  Global Gender Gap Report 2016 Highest rank of 5th (2007-2010)
Years to equality (global rate)  170 years Global Gender Gap Report 2016


[1] Defined by Statistics New Zealand as, “a woman in a parent role to at least one dependent child (aged 17 or under, who is not in full-time employment), living in the same household as the child/ren.”

[2] Whilst there is little information available to provide an explanation for the increase in time enrolled in childcare, a plausible explanation is the lack of flexible work opportunities available to parents (mothers and fathers), which could be negatively influencing the labour force participation of mothers.

[3] In 2014 the Ministry of Education changed its data collection from ‘enrolment hours’ to ‘attended hours’. The difference between 2000 and 2014 is therefore likely to be under-stated as establishments transitioned to the new data collection requirements.




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