ANZ Leads the Way for Equal Pay
YWCA Equal Pay Awards 2015 honours those blazing the trail for equal pay
YWCA Auckland is delighted to announce five outstanding winners of the YWCA Equal Pay Awards 2015, with frontrunners ANZ Bank New Zealand Ltd (ANZ) taking out the Supreme title for best practice as an equal pay employer.
In hot pursuit were insurers, IAG New Zealand Ltd, named Gold Champions; joint Silver Distinguished winners, Bell Gully, and the public sector’s Education Review Office (ERO); while the Government’s own New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), won the Bronze Emerging trophy.
The announcement comes as Statistics New Zealand has released its latest NZ Income Survey from the June 2015 quarter, reporting the gender pay gap is back to a six-year high. Despite a lift in overall earnings reported, men saw far bigger increases than women, with average hourly earnings rising to $29.44 for men, compared to $25.25 for women, a difference of $4.09 per hour.
YWCA Auckland CEO, Monica Briggs, says the w idening pay gap builds an even stronger case for businesses to prioritise equal pay within their organisations and is delighted to share the success of this year’s winners who are sure to inspire other employers.
“As the pay gap grows, we are compelled to start seeking the solutions. Thought leadership is part of the solution here and we are thrilled to present some outstanding case studies that can motivate others to follow suit,” says Monica.
The YWCA Equal Pay Awards team and partners, Coca-Cola Amatil NZ (CCANZ), Westpac New Zealand and EY, were impressed with the calibre and standard of entries in 2015, sending a clear message that New Zealand’s progressive business communities are leading the way with ground breaking, gender inclusive initiatives and practices that ensure a level playing field for all New Zealand women.
“I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate all of our winners and entrants today. Being at the judging table of this year’s YWCA Equal Pay Awards has been nothing short of enlightening”, Monica continues.
“Our eyes have once again been opened to the level of commitment among New Zealand employers, toward addressing equal pay. This year’s standard of entries can only be described as inspirational. Our Supreme winner, ANZ, has rigorously implemented gender inclusive strategies and initiatives across every aspect of their business,” she says.
“Fixing the pay gap is one thing, but sustainable solutions involve a broad matrix of policies and practices to ensure the same problems don’t keep reoccurring. It involves futureproofing for long term success. ANZ has this in their sights, tackling the issue from the recruitment phase right through to managing talent pipelines. Implementing fair and robust parental leave packages, introducing a flexible workplace environment, their list goes on. Their case study suggests no stone has been left unturned to ensure a fair and equitable workplace for ANZ’s female workers,” Monica went on to say.
Gold Champion, Silver Distinguished and Bronze Emerging winners also wowed judges with a string of best-in-class equal pay and gender inclusive case studies to share.
Susan Doughty, fellow judge and Human Capital Partner at EY, commended all 2015 winners and entrants. A remuneration specialist with over 25 years’ experience, Susan believes equal pay must be considered as a core part of Diversity and Inclusion strategies that an increasing number of organisations are adopting.
“Remuneration specialists, like myself, are seeing more openness and willingness to address equal pay among Kiwi employers,” says Susan, who helps clients tackle talent and reward solutions on a daily basis. “I don’t believe any organisation sets out to intentionally discriminate against its employees. When it comes to equal pay, a complex matrix of social and historic factors are at play. However, once a business takes the issue seriously and analyses its own gender pay gap, they are often invested in making change happen.
“As judges we have been impressed by the level of transparency and honesty coming through in the Awards entries. Businesses have fronted up to the pay gaps they have uncovered, showing us their challenges warts and all. These organisations have been quick to act, sharing their response plan and the innovative strategies implemented to address the issues. Without doubt, the most successful case studies have come from organisations who have had commitment at Board level to address equal pay. Strong leadership by the CEO and at the Board level is definitely required,” she continues.
“YWCA Equal Pay Awards winners and indeed all who entered these awards, will greatly benefit by being on the equal pay journey, including attracting a better pool of talent, enjoying improved engagement scores among their staff and experiencing higher retention rates. We hope these shining examples will inspire the wider business community to follow suit,” she concludes.
Working alongside Monica Briggs and Susan Doughty as judges for The Awards was a first class panel, all experts in their respective human resources and consultative fields. Martin King, General Manager Human Resources at CCANZ, was pivotal to the organisation’s own equal pay journey and transformation in 2009, while Waqas Butt, Head of Remuneration at Westpac New Zealand, joined his colleagues to receive the Gold Champion trophy at 2014’s inaugural YWCA Equal Pay Awards.
Monica Briggs thanks her sterling judging panel for their involvement in what she describes as a hugely successful year for the awards.
“Building an awards programme around a platform as complex and sensitive as equal pay has been hugely rewarding,” says Monica. “We have worked closely with our panel who have also been our advisors on this specialist subject. That is why we are in no doubt of the calibre of our winners today, who have all demonstrated how organisations can tackle equal pay through sheer commitment and ethical vision and values.
“However, we’re not just celebrating award winners today. All entrants 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 100% equal pay is incredibly heartening and we commend them for it. They are on the equal pay journey and this deserves recognition within itself.”