Why is GWN needed?

Women are the majority of the public sector but are a minority when it comes to progression and recognition.

The fact is that in every age group after 19 years, and in every occupational group, women earn less than men.

It's not explained by caring responsibilities – though women still tend to do double men's share. Most women haven't had the opportunity or investment in them to progress to the biggest jobs (CEs and tier 1-3 managers). The 'leaky pipeline' starts far earlier in careers. Women lose out while men steadily progress.

Globally-accepted research shows unconscious bias is heavily weighted against women and is prevalent in recruitment and talent management. Even the research into how we shop online reveals that on average women achieve 20% lower prices on sales than men.

GWN is backing women because if change works for women, it will help others too. So, if we can't get a fix for 60% of our workforce then other groups won't fare well either.


In this section

Our history

The Government Women's Network (or GWN) started in 2015 when a group of professional women who didn't know each other came together for business.The group identified that people in a wide of range of different agencies were doing the same things, interested in the same concerns and promoting the same kinds of activities.

Working for change

GWN is working to achieve system-level change Nothing less is going to create the wide, deep and sustainable shift right through the public sector that we believe is required.

How we work

Network representatives Network reps are the link between their organisation/agency and GWNOur reps keep GWN visible to their agency's people and leaders.

Our structure

Sponsor and champions Renee Graham, GWN Sponsor, Chief Executive - Social Wellbeing Agency Peter Mersi, GWN Sponsor, Commissioner and Chief Executive - Inland Revenue Department Peter Mersi is also Chief Executive co-lead with Gaye Searancke for Papa Pounamu which sets the diversity and inclusion work programme for the wider public service.