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Static gender pay gap holding NZ women back

The organiser of the annual YWCA Equal Pay Awards has expressed her disappointment with the latest Gender Pay Gap figure for New Zealand workers.  The figure rose slightly from 9.2% in 2018 to 9.3% for the quarter ended 30 June 2019.

Statistics NZ has described the 2019 figure as the third-smallest gap since the series began in 1998. However. YWCA Auckland Workplace Programme Lead, Zoe Brownlie says this is disappointing following a year of significant pay increases for female dominated professions.

“I can accept that there will always be a lag between introducing equity initiatives and seeing that reflected in data but a static gender pay gap is actually a lack of progress and is keeping women from being paid equally for longer” she says. Brownlie says that it is disappointing to see the gender pay gap increase from 2018, even if this is only marginally because pay is not the only driver of gender inequality in the workplace. 

“Through our work with the Equal Pay Awards we know that initiatives such as non-gendered parental leave, flexible and remote working and a structured talent pipeline for women are critical to address not only the pay gap but also increasing the number of women in C-Suite and governance roles” she adds. “What we have found is that an organisation looks under the hood at their pay practices and it starts a chain reaction identifying other opportunities for improvement. Previous finalists and winners have told us that being acknowledged as an equal pay champion has made them more attractive to top talent looking for forward thinking organisations and has also enhanced their workplace culture” she says. 

Now in their sixth year the Equal Pay Awards have evolved to include categories to recognise the challenges faced by the Not-For-Profit sector and the impact that individual staff can have in achieving equal pay. The online entry process is simple and Zoe Brownlie encourages any business who has adopted equal pay policies or other measures to close their gender pay gap to enter.

Entries for the YWCA Equal Pay Awards close on Friday, 6th September 2018.




For more information please contact Suzanne McNicol on or +64 21 466 907