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Govt needs to 'get with the programme' on NZ's gender pay gap

By Shannon Williams, Mon 18 Jan 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Following the New Zealand Herald’s report last week about New Zealand’s growing gender pay gap, the Green Party is calling on the Government to make achieving equal pay in New Zealand a priority for 2016.

The report revealed the gender pay gap is the worst it has been in nearly 10 years, with the median wage for Kiwi men almost $8k more than Kiwi women.

The Kiwi IT scene is no different, with a 2015 study from recruitment firm Absolute IT revealed women working in the IT industry were paid 7.2% less than men. Only 21% of the technology workforce is female.

“We are at a crisis point with the gender pay gap in this country,” says Green Party women’s issues spokesperson Jan Logie.

“Women are still not being paid what they’re worth because of their gender.

“It’s 2016 ­and it’s high time the Government got with the programme on pay equity,” she says.

Logie says the Government only needs to look as far as its own ministries to find somewhere to start.

“A ministry and a minister need to be made responsible for developing and implementing a plan to close the gender pay gap – at the moment we don’t have either,” she explains.

“We need proactive government action to close the gender pay gap, and the Government has an opportunity to do exactly that when its Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles reports back in March,” Logie says.

“This is a chance for the Government to get the ball rolling, and show Kiwi women it’s committed to reversing its do-nothing approach to closing the gender pay gap.”

Logie says the Government needs to set a target for reducing the gap year by year, and then create policies to make that happen.

“We can close the gender pay gap in this country and ensure that every woman is paid what she’s worth, but we need a real commitment from the Government to make it happen,” she explains.

“It’s a new year and it’s time for the National Government to be bold and be brave. Kiwi women are counting on them,” adds Logie.

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