There are some key gender differences in the public sector
relating to the total number of men and women, the type
of services they work in, their hours of work and the
proportions at the lowest and high levels (see Table 1).
Table 1: Gender differences in the public sector
The People Matter survey gauged employees' perceptions
of gender equity. A majority (85%) believed the NSW public
sector offers equal opportunities to both men and women.
In total, 89% of respondents said gender is not a barrier
to success – a similar outcome to that recorded in the 2012
survey. Overall, employees perceived women's capabilities
and opportunities in a very positive light, with 93% of
respondents believing women are able to lead as easily
There are few differences in the perceptions of men and
women (see Figure 7) except a noticeably lower proportion of
women reported that senior managers genuinely support the
career advancement of women.
Figure 7: Employee perceptions of gender differences
Snapshot – Diversity and inclusion
Transport for NSW
The Transport cluster is adopting a new approach to
diversity that preserves the focus on existing diversity
groups but also aims to shift attention away from legal
compliance towards the key contribution that a diverse
and inclusive workplace can contribute to business
Transport's diversity and inclusion initiatives are embedded
in each agency's business planning process and are directly
aligned with, and help to achieve, key business outcomes
such as better customer service, higher productivity and
greater employee engagement. Importantly, these initiatives
are led by business leaders and managers within agencies rather than by centralised corporate or human resource
areas and can therefore incorporate unique cultures as well
as readiness and capacity for change. Targets and progress
are set and measured in realistic and practical ways that
managers agree are important to their business.
This integrated approach impacts on all aspects of
workforce planning and workplace culture and is aligned to
the Global Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarks: Standards for
Organisations Around the World, an international tool aiding
organisations to determine strategy and measure progress
in managing diversity and fostering inclusion.
However, the overall response can camouflage gender
differences. While 86% of all respondents agreed that
women and men are given the same opportunities to lead
on important work, slightly more women than men agree
with this statement in lower salary levels. At higher salary
levels the response is reversed, with significantly more men
supporting the statement (92% compared to 76% for women
at very senior levels). This reflects gender differences in
salary where women are in a majority at lower levels and
men at higher levels.
Fewer women than men at all salary levels agree with the
statement about senior managers supporting the career
advancement of women, with the difference between men
and women ranging from 2% at low salary levels to 9% at
mid levels and 16% at senior levels.
The Agency survey shows that the main approaches to
promoting gender equality rely on flexible work practices to
assist return to work for those with caring responsibilities
(99% of agencies report implementation) or employees who
are returning after parental leave (93%). There is much less
focus on active approaches to promoting gender equality
such as succession planning (38%) and having a policy to
address specific gender imbalances (19%).
In 2014, the Public Service Commissioner commissioned
research about the low levels of participation by women at
senior levels and this work is discussed further in Chapter 4.