New Zealand's gender pay gap set to become public data

50 years after the Equal Pay Act came into effect, NZ women are still experiencing economic discrimination

New Zealand's gender pay gap set to become public data

Fifty years after the Equal Pay Act came into effect, women are still experiencing economic discrimination in New Zealand. According to statistics NZ, women are currently paid around 9.1% less than men. To put it in different terms, if men work for 12 months, for women to earn the same amount as their male counterparts, they will have to work for thirteen and a half months. When you factor in ethnicity, the data is even more sobering; Pasifika women earn on average 27% less than their Caucasian-male counterparts.

Philanthropic foundation, Clare Foundation has funded a public registry that aims to bring New Zealand’s gender pay gap into the spotlight. Fittingly, International Women’s Day (IWD) will see the launch of a ‘pay gap’ registry called, ‘Mind the Gap’, where New Zealand businesses are encouraged to register their gender and ethnicity pay gaps publicly. The registry already has the backing of several large kiwi businesses who say transparency is the secret ingredient to attracting talent in an increasingly competitive job market.

Globally, gender pay gap reporting is not a new thing, countries like Australia and the UK have already implemented compulsory reporting on gender pay gaps and are taking action on insights garnered from the collected data. “Experience overseas tells us that when we know our pay gaps, we are more likely to work towards closing them”, ‘Mind the Gaps’ spokesperson Dellwyn Stuart told Scoop.

In New Zealand, there are companies that have been collecting data and reporting their gender pay gap along with commentary on what they are doing to close it however, until now this has not been in an overly public way. Having a standardised way to report this data will bring it to the forefront and allow comparisons.

Prue Flacks, board chair of Mercury Energy NZ, who have been reporting gender pay gap data since 2019 told Stuff, ‘If they [Mercury Energy NZ] hadn’t made the effort to crunch the numbers, they wouldn’t have known the gap was unacceptable’.   People deserve a fair wage, regardless of gender, but even bosses who are committed to making that happen say they don’t realise there is a pay gap until they run the numbers. Mercury Energy has been reporting gender pay gaps since 2019 with the belief that ‘what gets measured, gets managed’, Flacks continued to Stuff.

Aotearoa, New Zealand’s first public registry will launch on March 8. It will list 165 of the country’s largest employers and show whether they are reporting their pay gaps for gender. Resources will be available at for businesses that would like to begin reporting their gender pay gap data.

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