Gender Pay Gap closest since 1998

Thursday 7 October 2010, 9:35PM
By Pansy Wong

The Minister of Women's Affairs Pansy Wong welcomes figures showing the closing Gender Pay Gap.

The Gender Pay Gap is the closest it has been since the New Zealand Income Survey (NZIS) began in 1997, according to Statistics New Zealand.

Mrs Wong said the pay gap had been stalled at around 12 per cent since 2001 but has continued to fall for the past two years which is a welcome trend.

"Since at least 2004, the Ministry of Women's Affairs has been measuring the Gender Pay Gap with data from the NZIS, by comparing the median hourly earnings of men and women to track progress in reducing the pay gap,'' Mrs Wong says.

"MWA uses these figures because the median hourly earning is not influenced by the value of benefits received, and is less influenced by the number of hours than weekly earnings are.

"The 2010 NZIS figures show a Gender Pay Gap of 10.6 percent, down from 11.3 percent in 2009.''

Mrs Wong says she is heartened by the figures but the Government is not complacent. Reducing the pay gap remains a high priority and the MWA has additional funding to help address contributing factors.

The Ministry's work includes:

* Promoting flexible work practices as good for business and women.

* Reducing barriers to women entering and remaining in male dominated trades, and research on emerging industries.

* Collection and distribution of data which highlights a gender pay gap emerging as early as one year after graduation.

* Supporting career pathways for low-paid women.