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Graduate earnings report confirms gender pay gap

CTU Media Release

22 January 2012

Graduate earnings report confirms gender pay gap

The Ministry of Education report on graduate earnings 'Moving on up, what young people earn after their tertiary education' confirms that women graduates are earning less than male graduates.

"The information released to inform students about future potential earnings failed to highlight the significant gender pay gap that was found as part of the research. Despite more women than ever getting university qualifications, the report shows that at all levels after four years, women are earning less than male graduates," said Eileen Brown, CTU Social Policy spokesperson.

"This study confirms research undertaken by the Ministry of Women's Affairs in 2007 which showed a 6 percent gender pay gap for graduate starting salaries, which increased to an astonishing 17 percent gap after five years."

"Yet Government action on the gender pay gap is virtually non-existent. This research confirms the need for action including transparent reporting on pay, ensuring women are getting access to promotion and training opportunities and, education to address gender discrimination in the workplace and on the gender pay gap.

"CTU is concerned that it appears that there is no Government agency at the moment with a responsibility for the gender pay gap. The Ministry of Women's Affairs has done some work in the past on this and so logically the ball falls in their court. But more commitment is needed as well as funding. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has a major role to play too. Its time for some Ministerial directives on practical actions and programmes that will reduce the gender pay gap, and for proper attention to be paid to this growing issue."

"History is very clear that the gender pay gap will not be reduced without focussed programmes and also legislation," said Eileen Brown, "the graduate gender pay gap is a place where effort could be focussed and where there may be an opportunity to make some tangible difference."


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