Gender pay gap shows much work to be done
The recently released New Zealand Income Survey, showing a decrease in the gap between the income of men and women, is pleasing to women students, however it shows that New Zealand still has significant work to do in order achieve equity in the workplace.
“Female students were concerned by last years’ gender pay gap increase, so we are pleased at this change”, said Jennifer Jones, National Women’s Rights Officer of the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA). “While we welcome this decrease, however, it is unacceptable that women continue to earn 13% less than men on average”.
The New Zealand Income Survey shows that average hourly earnings for women have increased from $17.93 to $18.96. For men the increase was $21.35 to $21.72. Overall, the gender pay gap has decreased, with women now earning on average only 87% of men’s earnings, compared to 82% in 2005.
“In addition, there is still evidence that the gender pay gap for tertiary graduates is still around 83%. In real terms, this means female graduates on average earn $8,000 less than their male counterparts,” said Jones.
“More women than ever before are studying at tertiary level, however, their pay after graduation does not reflect this. It is time for the Government and employers to start valuing women’s work and career choices,” said Jones.
“The current user-pays environment burdens women with debt, and then they are not renumerated fairly in the work-force. Where is the equity in that?” asked Jones.