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More women in the workforce than ever before

Hon Jo Goodhew

Minister of Women’s Affairs

7 February 2014

Media Statement
More women in the workforce than ever before

Women’s Affairs Minister Jo Goodhew has welcomed news that a record number of women are participating in the labour market.

The Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS) found women’s participation rate has risen to 63.4 per cent - the highest level since the survey began in 1986.

“The continued increase in the number of women in the workforce shows New Zealand is gradually waking up to the role women can play in growing our economy,” says Mrs Goodhew.

“When coupled with the Census 2013 data already released, the HLFS gives us an interesting snapshot as to the status of women in New Zealand.

“The latest Census found more women are gaining formal qualifications. The number of women holding a bachelor degree or higher has increased by 100,500 to 339,700 since 2006.

“The challenge now is to see these qualified women working across a broader range of occupations, we still have some way to go in regards to management roles and occupations that are male-dominated.

“We also need to address the unconscious bias in the workplace which can hamper career progression and can make it difficult for women to re-enter the workforce after career breaks.

“The Ministry of Women’s Affairs is focussing on industries where women are under-represented and those industries facing skill shortages.

“My officials are working with a range of industry representatives as they develop specific strategies to recruit, retain and support more women into roles facing high demand for skilled workers,” says Mrs Goodhew.


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