GENDER BALANCE IN THE NEW ZEALAND PUBLIC SERVICE

Why are there fewer women in the top roles and what needs to change? A strategic HRM perspective

BY LUCY SANDERSON-GAMMON

 Researchers worldwide argue the benefits of having gender balance in senior management teams, yet women are under-represented in the top roles of the New Zealand Public Service. This represents a missed opportunity for delivering better Public Services and improving performance across the sector. It also raises issues of gender equity and equal employment opportunities for women public servants.

 By taking a strategic human resources management (HRM) approach, this research project focused on potential barriers to women’s advancement inherent in organisational cultures and structures, rather than on individual deficits in women. This was based on the premise that, if the underlying systemic factors are not addressed, other initiatives that focus on developing individuals for leadership roles are likely to be undermined.

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