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Government launches plan to close gender pay gap

Government launches plan to close gender pay gap

By Sophie Boot

July 20 (BusinessDesk) - Women's Minister Paula Bennett has today launched the first step of a plan to close the gender pay gap in New Zealand, which is the same as it was a decade ago.

The national gender pay gap is 12 percent, the same as 2006. Around 20 percent of that can be explained by differences in education, occupation or industries or women being more likely to work part-time. However, the majority of the gap is down to what researchers call unexplained factors, such as conscious and unconscious bias, and the gap is wider and more attributable to unexplained factors at the top end of wage distribution - the "glass ceiling" effect.

The government has made seven recommendations for employers to close the gender pay gap in their organisations. They 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; and normalising flexible work and parental leave for men and women.

"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," Bennett said. "It’s good for business too, diverse companies are more successful. Companies need a plan to close the gender pay gap in New Zealand workplaces. This is just the first step and the Ministry will soon release guidance to assist employers on how to measure their gender pay gap."

The Ministry for Women spoke to 26 large companies about their experiences and what they’re doing to close the gap, with twelve companies releasing their profiles publically to accompany today's guidance.



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