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NZ’s Fairest Workplaces for Women: Finalists Announced

The finalists for the sixth annual Equal Pay Awards have been announced today highlighting businesses, Not-For-Profits and individuals who have made significant progress in creating gender equal workplaces. This is  welcome news for working women in New Zealand as the national gender pay gap of 9.3% has not moved since 2017.

Workplace Programme Lead of the Y Auckland, Zoe Brownlie says that the awards play a critical part in closing New Zealand’s gender pay gap. “Some companies are making great progress in this area – they know that embracing diversity – including attracting and retaining a range of women in the workforce – pays dividends to their bottom line. We also know that companies that have diversity at the board level do better than those who don’t. Over the past six years we have seen a rise in companies addressing their gender pay gap and the number of new entrants and new sectors represented in 2019 is proof of this” she says.

The Y Auckland harnessed the shared experiences of Equal Pay Award entrants to launch the Gender Tick accreditation programme in October 2018. Both programmes reflect the Y’s  130 years of  experience in the development and support for women and young women in particular.   Y Auckland CEO, Dellwyn Stuart says that New Zealand is making incremental but unspectacular progress for women. “The Equal Pay Awards are one lever that encourage businesses to maximise the potential of their female workforce but change at the systems level is required to boost the work done by individual companies. We recognise that the values and actions of everyone, including boys and men, are part of the solution “ she says.

Proudly sponsored by AUT, Coca Cola Amatil and Sky City Entertainment Group, the Awards recognise those at every stage of the equal pay journey in six categories - five for organisations and one for an individual. 

A Supreme Winner will be announced on the night from the entrants in the five organisational categories who have provided a full gender dashboard, including gender pay gap and leadership representation. 


The Innovation Award recognises organisations who have taken a bespoke or experimental approach to closing their  gender pay gap.  The judges are company director Rob Campbell, Chief Executive of the EMA, Brett O’Riley [1] and Callaghan Innovation Head of People and Capability, Esther Livingston.

Finalists: FrankAdvice and Wintec


The On The Journey Award reflects the importance of data in sizing the equal pay issue in a workplace . The judges are General Manager – Northern Consulting, Strategic Pay, Michelle Gapes, Head of Communications and Education for Simplicity Kiwisaver, Amanda Morrall, and AUT Vice-Chancellor, Dr Andrea Vujnovich [2].

Finalists: AUT, Neilson, Xero and Yellow


The Progressive Award commends firms who have demonstrated their commitment to Equal Pay in their workplace and continue to make sustained advances and improvements to address the issue.  CEO of the Institute of Directors, Kirsten (KP) Patterson and Susan Lowe, General Manager People and Culture  at Coca Cola Amatil were joined by Performance and Reward Specialist, Helene Higbee to judge this award.

Finalists: Auckland Council, Chorus, Kensington Swan and KPMG


The Community Award acknowledges that profit-for-purpose or not-for-profit organisations have unique pay challenges compared to the private sector. This year two new judges assessed the award. They are experienced Governance Lead and Director of Change the Narrative, Sally Morrison and the CEO of the Fundraising Institute of New Zealand (FINZ), Michelle Berriman who joined RemNet Committee Member and Chief People Officer of Volpara Health Technologies, Kathryn Greene.

Finalists: Auckland District Health Board, Auckland Council and MOTAT.


The Leadership Award celebrates companies who understand the benefits of workplace gender equality and are leading the way for others to follow. The judging panel is Annamarie Jamieson, People and Culture Director at Stuff, Martin King, Owner and Director at South Pacific Pride Ltd and Claire Walker, Chief People and Culture Officer at Sky City Entertainment Ltd.

Finalists: AIA, Chorus and Perpetual Guardian


The 2019 Champion Award recognises an outstanding individual driving equal pay in an organisation. The judges are Chief Executive of the Ministry for Women, Renee Graham, ANZLF Indigenous Business Co-Chair, Traci Houpapa and one of the country’s youngest tech entrepreneurs Ezel Kokcu of Passphere.

Finalists: Angela Meyer, Double Denim. Mahsa Mohaghegh, Founder/ Director She#, Senior Lecturer at Auckland University of Technology.  Gillian Brookes, social entrepreneur and founder of My Kids Village.


The winners will be awarded at a celebratory event on November 12th in Auckland.

About The Equal Pay Awards

  • In 2019 there are six Equal Pay Award categories – five for organisations and one for an individual. 
  • Each organisational category includes a high-level gender analysis of the whole organisation.  This provides standardised data analysis for judging purposes. All remuneration data is treated in the strictest confidence and is provided to an independent third party without any reference to the organisation itself.
  • A Supreme Winner will be selected from the entrants in the five organisational categories.
  • To learn more about the YWCA Equal Pay Awards 2019, entry details and criteria, visit
  • The latest gender pay gap statistic for New Zealand is 9.3 % (Statistics NZ, August 2019)

For more information, images or interview opportunities, please contact Suzanne McNicol on or +64 21 466 907

[1] Brett O’Riley recused himself from judging the Wintec entry in this category

[2] Dr Andrea Vujnovich recused herself from judging the AUT entry in this award category