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Closing the gap: Addressing NZ’s gender pay gap

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The road to achieving workplace equality between men and women in New Zealand, it seems, still has a long way to go. According to researchers at the Motu Institute, women who bring the same value to private firms in New Zealand as their male counterparts are paid 16% less on average. Globally, the pay gap has widened to its largest figures in almost a decade. The issue is clearly influenced by mixture of factors such as differences in industries and the percentage of women working part-time, for example. However, key research has shown the pay gap between men and women is founded on gender stereotypes and out-dated social norms. 

In 2017, the World Economic Forum published their annual ‘Global Gender Pay Gap Report’. According to the research, women will have to wait 217 years  to receive equal pay in the workplace. In New Zealand, the gender pay gap is at 12 percent and has barely narrowed in the past ten years. For older women, the difference is even worse on average. The gap is at 21 percent for women aged 40 to 54, and 49 percent for those aged 54+. Delving deeper into the pay gap reveals some key distinctions that are worth noting. The gap stretches to more than 40 percent in several sizable industries including: finance and insurance, telecommunications, as well as water and air transport, and gas and water.

Since 2006, New Zealand has reduced its gap by 4 percent. This reduction has however stalled in recent years. Considering New Zealand was the first country to give women the vote, the lack of sizable progress is somewhat disheartening.

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