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Gender splits still an issue in NZ job market

Gender splits still an issue in NZ job market

New Zealand’s job market continues to have strong gender biases, according to the latest Trade Me Jobs quarterly employment data.

Analysis of applications by job hunters across more than 72,000 vacancies listed on Trade Me Jobs in the second quarter of 2017 (April-June) showed sectors with significant gender splits. For example, engineering and IT job advertisements attracted at least 80 per cent male applicants versus female applicants.

Head of Trade Me Jobs Jeremy Wade said little had changed in the past three years of delving into the gender data. “Some commentators have suggested this issue is dead and buried and we don’t need to think too much about diversity in the workplace. But until these numbers change, we disagree.

“We looked at all the applications over the last three months and men again dominated engineering, IT, construction and roading. Women dominated education, office and administration applications. In the middle we see Government and council roles evenly split between the sexes.

“We’re not here to blame any particular industry, but we want to keep shining a light on these stereotypes and hopefully play a small part in changing some thinking.

“There are some signs that things might be changing in IT with 18-25-year-old women making up 27 per cent of applications, and well up on the overall proportion of 20 per cent. In engineering it’s a little more disheartening with 18-25-year-old women comprising just 11 per cent of applications and well down on the overall proportion of 16 per cent.”

Searches and applications
Mr Wade said there was a disparity between the number of job searches by women versus the number of roles they’re applying for said Mr Wade. “Our analysis has indicated women tend to view more listings when they are searching for a new job, but apply less. Women do 56 per cent of all searches but only submit 48 per cent of applications.

“There are a couple of schools of thought on this inconsistency: perhaps women think they need to meet more of the job requirements than men do before they apply. Or maybe the job ads themselves contain unconscious language bias that is putting women off applying.

“It’s likely that both are factors among a plethora of issues that contribute to the gender imbalance across the majority of industries and workplaces in New Zealand. But when it comes to attracting women to apply for jobs, there are a lot of tools out there that can help employers remove any unconscious bias from their job ads. We need to think more about how these things can impact on diverse hiring.”

Salaries by gender
Mr Wade said that the Trade Me Jobs’ data continued to highlight the relationship between gender and salary bands.

“Female applicants are over-represented in applications for lower paying roles and heavily under-represented for roles above $60,000. Women apply for 54 per cent of roles under $40,000, and 46 per cent of roles between $40,000 and $60,000 but are down around 30 per cent for for all of the higher brackets.”

“IT has dominated our highest paid roles for many years and we think New Zealand women should be aiming for a slice of that pie. On the other side of the coin, employers are missing out on very different perspectives and skills that women can bring to their work.”


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