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Westpac Win Gold For Equal Pay

Westpac Win Gold For Equal Pay

YWCA Equal Pay Awards singles out those flying the flag for equal pay

July 2014 – YWCA Auckland has today announced four outstanding winners of its inaugural Equal Pay Awards, led by Westpac, who were awarded first place - the Gold Award - for best practice as an equal pay employer.

Close behind was one of the ‘big eight’ New Zealand legal firms, Simpson Grierson jointly collecting Silver with SKYCITY Entertainment Group who have demonstrated well developed practices in pay equity and BNZ who scores the Bronze. Special commendations were also given to the New Zealand Defence Force for their courageous efforts in tackling pay equity issues and a special mention went to Downer NZ for their actions in a highly male dominated industry.

Monica Briggs, CEO of YWCA Auckland says, “Equal pay is a key focus for YWCA Auckland. While we aim to raise awareness of the existing 13% pay gap, we are passionate about working alongside the business community to inspire change. The Awards were the start of that journey.”

The YWCA Equal Pay Awards judging panel were thrilled with the quality of entries received in this first year of the Awards, and especially proud to share the success of the winners, who demonstrated rigorous commitment to the equal pay journey within their respective organisations.

“As judges, we were all amazed with the standard of entries the YWCA Equal Pay Awards attracted in its inaugural year,” says judging panellist, Susan Doughty, Director of remuneration specialists dsd Consulting Ltd.

“The absolute, steadfast commitment our winners demonstrated to the equal pay journey that shone through for us today meant we are delighted to acknowledge their work in this space and to formally reward them with the recognition of this truly unique awards programme.”

“Westpac won the coveted Gold Award for clearly demonstrating that not only are they actively working towards pay equity, they are doing so at a gold standard level. They invest in extensive analysis to understand how the issue affects their organisation and use that analysis to affect change. They’ve fixed pay gaps, improved processes that contribute to the problem and, most importantly, they’re implementing sustainable strategies that resolve the issue well into the future. In short, Westpac’s win truly reflects ‘equal pay best practice’ in action.”

“Choosing a Silver winner was difficult, so we ended up awarding joint Silver to SKYCITY Entertainment Group and Simpson Grierson, who are both well on their way to operating under Pay Equity best practices. SKYCITY demonstrates thought leadership through their innovative approach to starting salaries, and are investing in technology that aims to ensure decisions will include a gender ‘parity check’. Simpson Grierson also impressed with their in-depth analysis of pay equity within their organisation, clear strategic plans concerning equal access to promotions and willingness to go above and beyond. It was fantastic to see another of the country’s financial institutions rounding out the ranks. BNZ is highly regarded for their diversity, and have demonstrated that pay equity is a key priority with systems and processes in place to resolve identified issues.

“Although the New Zealand Defence Force wasn’t a finalist, they deserve special mention for their commitment to tackling this issue and the courageous steps they are starting to take in addressing the issue.

We fully except to see them in the running for Gold in a few years’ time as they imbed their practice. Downer NZ also exhibited a real commitment to the equal pay journey, starting to make an impression in a highly male dominated industry sector. It is great to see leadership being demonstrated by such diverse organisations.”

“Our award winners, and indeed all those who entered these awards, will greatly benefit by being on the equal pay journey to bring them in line with diversity best practice and strategically support attracting, engaging and retaining the right talent for their organisation,” says Susan. “We hope these shining examples will inspire the wider business community to follow suit.”

Working alongside Susan on the YWCA Equal Pay Awards was a first class judging panel - all experts in their respective human resources and consultative fields - with an in-depth knowledge of diversity and change management, gender equality and equal pay in the workplace. The judging panel included Martin King, General Manager HR, Coca-Cola Amatil (NZ) Ltd; Galia Barhava-Monteith, Director and Strategic Change Consultant of GBM Consulting, Deputy Chair at the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women (NACEW) and Founding Director of Professionelle Charitable Foundation; and Carolyn Savage, former President of Business & Professional Women New Zealand and Senior Architect of the ECL Group.

YWCA Auckland CEO, Monica Briggs thanks the sterling judging panel for their involvement in what she describes as a hugely successful inaugural year for the Awards. “Building an awards programme around a platform as complex and sensitive as equal pay has been hugely rewarding. We have worked closely with our panel, who have also been our advisors on this specialist subject. It is for this reason that we are in no doubt of the calibre of our winners today, selected by some of country’s most practiced experts in the field. Westpac, SKYCITY, Simpson Grierson and BNZ have demonstrated how organisations can tackle equal pay through sheer commitment and ethical vision and values.“

“But we’re not just celebrating our winners today, as all entries to the YWCA Equal Pay Awards came from organisations addressing equal pay in one way or another. Whether they have reached their end goal or not, their commitment to one day being able to say they have achieved equal pay within their organisation is incredibly heartening and we commend them for it,” adds Monica. “Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could make history again, as we did in 1893, when we were the first country in the world to award women the vote?”

This sentiment is echoed by Dr Jackie Blue, Equal Employment Opportunities Coordinating Commissioner and keynote speaker at the Awards event, “No country in the word has achieved a zero gender pay gap. We can be the first.”

- ENDS -

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