Government launches plan to close gender pay gap

Women’s minister Paul Bennet revealed the first step this week with a number of recommendations given to employers.

Government launches plan to close gender pay gap

New Zealand has made another important step towards workplace equality this week after the government officially launched the first phase of its plan to close the gender pay gap.

Yesterday, women’s minister Paula Bennet issued seven recommendations to employers and urged them to pursue wage parity for the benefit of both employees and their business.

“If New Zealand organisations identify and address their gender pay gaps, we can create fairer workplaces and raise incomes for women, families and communities throughout New Zealand,” she said. “It’s good for business too, diverse companies are more successful.”

The seven recommendations are:

  • Leading from the top by communicating and taking responsibility for change
  • Making a plan with measurable objectives
  • Analysing data, taking into account ethnicity disadvantages and discretionary benefits
  • Being aware of unconscious bias
  • Redesigning talent management processes
  • Maximising female talent
  • Normalising flexible work and parental leave for men and women

“Companies need a plan to close the gender pay gap in New Zealand workplaces,” added Bennett. “This is just the first step and the ministry will soon release guidance to assist employers on how to measure their gender pay gap.”

Currently, New Zealand’s gender pay gap sits at 12 per cent – the same as it was in 2006. While approximately 20 percent of that can be explained by differences in education, occupation or working hours, the majority of the gap remains unexplained.

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