Closing gender pay gap for good requires long-term commitment

“The Government continues its strong commitment to improve pay for New Zealand women,” says Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter after the release of the latest national gender pay gap figure by Stats NZ.

The latest figures show the national gender pay gap figure is 9.2 percent, down from 9.4 percent in 2017.

“Continuing to underpay women because they are women is not okay, and I am proud to be part of a government that is committed to addressing this injustice.

“New Zealand has more work to do to ensure our workplaces are fully gender equal.

“The Government is actively working to increase pay for low income women. Yesterday Education Support Workers settled their 12 yearlong battle for pay equity, following thousands of mental health workers who’ve won major pay rises in their pay equity settlement. We’ve also lifted the minimum wage, which far more women are earning than men, and we’ve committed to ending gender pay gap in the public sector.

 “The Green Party’s confidence and supply agreement is clear that there needs to be substantial progress within this Parliamentary term on the pay gap within the core public sector, and ongoing work with the wider public sector and private sector.

“Our work in the public sector will encourage more in the private sector to undertake gender pay audits, understand their gaps and take action,” says Ms Genter.

Factors such as working in lower paid industries and part-time work contribute to women being paid less than men. However, Ministry for Women research found that as much as 80 percent of the gender pay gap is due to hard-to-measure factors, primarily behaviour, and attitudes and assumptions about women in work, including unconscious bias.

“We are working to understand more about the causes of the gender pay gap on particular groups of women, for example Māori, Pacific, and Asian women, and mothers,” says Ms Genter.