Public reporting needed to address gender pay gap

Public reporting needed to address gender pay gap

June 30, 2016

The Human Rights Commission’s Tracking Equality at Work tool, which has been recently updated with 2015 data, illustrates the urgent need for public reporting on gender pay gaps. 

The web-based interactive tool, which makes it possible to track progress towards equality, shows that across both the broader labour market and the public service, men are paid more than women – the difference being particularly stark for Pacific and Māori women.   

Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says measuring and publicly reporting on gender pay gaps in both the public and private sector is vital to helping businesses benchmark progress by understanding and addressing the factors that create the gap. 

“Similar to the UK, New Zealand should enact legislation where companies with more than 250 workers have to publicly report on their gender pay gap and bonus gap.

“I would also like to see the ethnicity make-up of State sector and NZX Boards reported. 

“Much like the gender data, what we measure, we can manage.  Our boards and senior management teams should reflect our rapidly changing demographics and we and should be supporting New Zealanders of all ethnic backgrounds into senior management roles and board positions,” Dr Blue Says.  

The data shows: 

  • the percentage of women in senior management in the public service has risen from 39.6% in 2011 to 44.2% in 2015
  • there has been a sharp decline in the percentage of women in senior management roles in the private sector from 31% in 2014 to 19% in 2015. 
  • the percentage of women on both state sector and private sector boards has increased from 41.7% in 2014 to 43.4% in 2015 and 14% in 2014 to 17% in 2015 respectively. 

“We must now be aiming for 50% women on State Sector Boards and 30% of women on NZX Boards. The spotlight is also on women on private sector senior management teams which appears to have stalled at around 20%.

“Supporting women of all ethnicities into decision making roles is the best way we can also ensure future equality and diversity in senior management teams and boardroom,” Dr Blue says. 

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Human Rights Commission

The Commission works for a free, fair, safe and just New Zealand, where diversity is valued and human dignity and rights are respected.