Monday, 10 August 2020

Career minorities

While I have posted on this before (here), it is probably worth restating. New Zealand is made up of a lot of minority groups:
  • 15% Maori; 12% Asian, 7% Pasifika and the remainder Pakeha (Statistics NZ, 2013)
  • 51% female and 49% male (Statistics NZ, 2013)
  • 18% with a bachelor's degree or higher from a range of disciplines; 17% with diplomas or certificates (this may include trades); 30% with a secondary qualification; 19% with no quals; and 17% that doesn't seem to be counted anywhere but may be tradespeople if they are not in the cert/dip group (Statistics NZ, 2013)
  • a range of socio-economic backgrounds with 6% in Socio-economic status 1 (the 'upper' class); 6% in 2; 28% in 3; 21% in 4; 19% in 5 and 20% in 6 (Statistics NZ, 2006a)
  • 25% born overseas, 75% born in New Zealand (Statistics NZ, 2013)
  • Ages with 50% over 42 years of age and 50% under 42; broken down into 18% 15-24, 41% 25-44, 38% 45-64, 8% 65+ (EEO Trust, 2012)
  • 16% with differing disabilities (Statistics NZ, 2006b).
When it comes to careers, women - who are a majority: a 'major minority' (Statistics NZ, 2013) - do not tend to identify with mathematics or science. The lack of interest - identification - with these subjects appear to be a key driver in the limited entry of women into the engineering field. In America, women make up "45% of the work force, yet only 16% of scientists and engineers" (Osborn & Zunker, 2016, p. 69; Betz, 1997). These statistics seem to be similar in New Zealand, along with Maori and Pasifika peoples also being very under-represented in science and engineering.

Where New Zealand is different to the US is that 60% of the law graduates in Aotearoa are women (New Zealand Law Society, 2020), and 45% of doctors (Medical Council of New Zealand, 2017). Doctors of Maori ethnicity are also increasing, with 16% of graduates identifying as Maori, up almost 4% on 2016. Further, women doctors are expected to outnumber men in 2015 (Medical Council of New Zealand, 2017).

There is some shift happening. Long may that last :-)



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