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New research reveals high awareness of gender pay gap

New research reveals high awareness of gender pay gap, while women feel disadvantaged

Recent research reveals 65% of women believe there is still a gender pay gap and 41% believe men are given increased opportunities in the workplace to get paid more, according to a Westpac survey on equal pay in our workplaces.

The survey of 700 Kiwis – split evenly between men and women – showed while women believe there is an issue, they are reluctant to raise it in the workplace. More than 32% of women surveyed don’t know if their organisation supports equal pay and 21% don’t feel comfortable asking their employer if they do support it.

Gina Dellabarca, General Manager Human Resources, said New Zealand women have made progress over time in reaching senior and leadership roles and a similar focus may be needed around equal pay.

“The results suggest we need to create an environment where women feel positive about the pay discussion. Organisations should equally think about the talent they could be missing if they are not openly focused on equal pay,” Gina Dellabarca said.

The survey is in support of the YWCA Equal Pay Awards and YWCA CEO, Monica Briggs, said greater transparency would also help.

“While its unlikely employers would reveal this kind of information in great detail, I think it illustrates there needs to be more openness around gender pay issues,” she said.

Both Gina Dellabarca and Monica Briggs feel the equal pay issue might also be tied into an unconscious bias. Understanding and managing our unconscious bias is a big part in ensuring the Diversity and Inclusion are everyday factors of a workforce.

It was important to see capability and performance, not gender, they said.

Monica Briggs said, while there’s some way to go, we seem to have come a long way around awareness of the issue.

“When YWCA Auckland launched its first equal pay campaign in 2012, anecdotally there seemed to be very little awareness of equal pay. To see that today, over two thirds of women registering awareness and half of men is really heartening.”

“But reporting on the gender pay gap points to inescapable statistics, with a 14% gap, based on average hourly earnings reported in the latest NZ Income Survey. Additionally, widespread private and public sector research throws up similar findings. So we must take a more realistic approach and awareness needs to translate to positive action with a greater sense of urgency."

ENDS

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