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Equality at work is improving but at a glacial pace

Graphic: Graphic from report cover

Women continue to perform poorly across a range of labour market indicators, according to a new report from the New Zealand Human Rights Commission.

Women continue to perform poorly across a range of labour market indicators, according to a new report from the New Zealand Human Rights Commission.

The Commission's bi-annual Tracking Equality at Work report and web-based interactive tool measures equality at work based on employment, pay, leadership and discrimination statistics sourced from Stats NZ and other government departments.

Overall, women are still being paid less than men, regardless of their ethnic group, and they make up 67% of minimum wage earners over 25 years.

According to Tracking Equality at Work, the gender pay gap is at an all-time low of 9.4% but the pace of change is slow; it could be another 40 years before the pay gap is finally closed.

The report found that women have a higher rate of unemployment than men (5.1% compared to 4%). High unemployment rates are also noticeable among Māori women, Pasifika men and women under 25 years of age.

The Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue, said that while the gender gap was narrowing, equality for women in the workforce was moving ahead too slowly.

"Despite the recent focus on women in leadership roles, the number of women senior managers in the private sector actually decreased one percent between our last report in 2015 and 2017.

EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue recommended that the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment increase the number of places available in successful employment and apprenticeship schemes for young Māori and Pasifika peoples who are not in employment, education or training.

Dr Blue also also called on the Government to implement new pay equity legislation as soon as possible and to enact legislation to require all companies with more than 100 staff to annually report on their gender pay, bonus gaps and other EEO metrics.

The Tracking Equality at Work report is available at: http://tracking-equality.hrc.co.nz.

Date: 3 July 2018

Source: New Zealand Human Rights Commission


Image credits

  1. Graphic from report cover - New Zealand Human Rights Commission