The gender divide is alive and well in the New Zealand employment market, according to the latest Trade Me Jobs quarterly data.
Analysis of job hunter applications across the 65,000 roles advertised on Trade Me Jobs in April, May and June showed significant gender splits in several sectors with men dominating applications in the Executive & General Management sector while women are more likely to apply for roles in the Legal sector by two to one.
Trade Me Jobs spokesman Jeremy Wade says he expected to see some difference in sectors and roles that had a traditional male or female dominance but remains surprised at the imbalance for some job types.
“We looked at all the applications from our members over the past three months and in sectors like engineering and IT, more than 80 per cent of the applications are from men,” Wade says.
“Public sector roles and Banking & Finance were evenly split between male and female applicants while more than 70 per cent of applications for roles in education and office administration are from women.
“This isn’t about playing the blame game, and no one person or industry is at fault here. We’re all responsible for ensuring we have workplace equality and diversity.
“We need to have this conversation and think about what we’re doing that might be inhibiting people from getting into industries and roles where they can do great work.”
Wade says diversity of “thought and experience” remains an important part of creating a successful business and workplace culture in New Zealand.
“Looking at these numbers we think there are a number of employers missing out on a diverse range of applicants, which in many cases is not a good thing,” he adds.
“In our own backyard at Trade Me, we’ve been looking at what we can do to promote IT as a fantastic career path for women - there’s a lot of opportunity and much more to be done.”
Salaries by gender
The latest Trade Me Jobs data also highlighted the relationship between gender and salary bands, with the proportion of men applying for roles standing higher for every bracket above $40,000, and the proportion of women diminishing as pay rates increased.
“Women are much less likely to apply for a high-paying role, and we saw this peak for six-figure salary roles where the proportion of women applying is just 30 per cent,” Wade adds.
“There’s a close relationship between lower average pay rates and sectors that are typically female-dominated, such as education.”
Wade says IT and engineering roles consistently appear in Trade Me Job’s top 10 highest paid roles each quarter while education and office/administration roles were typically lower paid.
“I’d never advocate that any job hunter chases money over enjoyment and satisfaction, but the value placed on particular roles is an important conversation for us to have,” Wade adds.
Positive signs for the job market
Outside the gender statistics, Wade says the second quarter of 2016 saw “heartening data” for job seekers with a 9.3 percent increase in job listings on the same period last year, and the average salary up 0.5 per cent.
“Between October last year and March this year we saw hot competition from job hunters, despite healthy listing numbers,” he adds.
“That pressure has eased slightly over the last three months, with a few exceptions the balance sits firmly in favour of employers still at this stage.”
Wade says the average salary for roles listed on Trade Me rose 1.1 per cent this quarter, landing at $61,095.
Almost every region saw a lift in average salaries, with only the wider Wellington region (down 2.3 per cent to $67,351) and the Bay of Plenty (down 2 per cent to $53,748) seeing a dip.
According to findings, Wellington City continues to hold the top spot for average rate of pay at $72,958, more than $1500 higher than Auckland City.
Unsurprisingly, IT roles continue to dominate the top five highest average pay rate slots, with IT architects in top spot with an average pay rate of $147,340.
Wade says the much debated ‘halo effect’ around the Auckland property market appeared to be having an impact on job listings.
“Regions around Auckland have seen impressive growth in listings with the Bay of Plenty up 27 per cent, Waikato up 10 per cent and Northland up 21 per cent on a year ago,” he adds.
“Some employers are choosing to set up shop in regional areas because of the lower cost of operation. It’s not all about Auckland for them, with improved technology and infrastructure they don’t need to be in Auckland to access that market.”
In the South Island, Canterbury’s listings fell 7 per cent lead by Construction & Roading, Manufacturing and Transport listings dropping - further evidence of the Christchurch rebuild slowing down, while the West Coast (down 14.7 per cent) and Southland (down 8.9 per cent) both fell considerably.
Finally, Otago was one region bucking the trend though with a 31.1 per cent increase in listings.