The number of chief executives in public service departments has for the first time exceeded 50 per cent.
Of the 33 public service department chief executive roles, 17 are now held by women, including acting roles – representing 52 per cent. This is up from 14, or 44 per cent, as of 30 June 2018.
"This is an outstanding achievement," Chris Hipkins said.
"In addition to meeting this milestone, more women CEs have been appointed to larger jobs. Their average job size has increased by 15% since 2016 and the job size gap with their male colleagues has narrowed to 6 per cent, compared with a 27 per cent gap in 2016.
"We want, and New Zealanders deserve, a public service with an international reputation for excellence. A public service that reflects the communities it serves. A public service with an international reputation for equal representation for women and paying women equally.
"We still have work to do but the public service is making positive progress and setting a great example."
"Making progress for women is important to this government," Julie Anne Genter said.
"Having more women in leadership is not only the right thing to do, but diversity helps organisations function more effectively.
"More women in leadership means better decision making, better organisational resilience and better performance.
"It also opens up more opportunities for women to succeed and contributes to a more inclusive and fairer society.
"While historically, women have tended to be appointed to smaller jobs, the job size gap is significantly narrowing, with women taking on leadership roles in some of our bigger jobs.
"Women are now leading the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Ministry of Education, Inland Revenue Department and soon will be leading at the Ministry for Social Development.
"Increasing women's representation in senior leadership in the public sector is part of the Gender Pay Gap Action Plan that we launched in July this year," Julie Anne Genter said.
The Ministers said the State Services Commissioner has committed to ensuring that all chief executives will see a substantial reduction in the gender pay gap for their agency.
(With Inputs from New Zealand Government Press Release)