New research identifies causes of gender pay gap

The Ministry for Women has today published new research – undertaken by Auckland University of Technology for the Ministry for Women – that identifies what’s driving the gender pay gap which still sits at 12 percent.

“The research, lead by Professor Gail Pacheco, tells us that factors such as type of work, family responsibilities, education, and age only actually account for 20 percent of the gender pay gap,” says Margaret Retter, Acting CEO of the Ministry for Women.

“Around 80 percent of the gap is due to ‘unexplained’ factors. We, at the Ministry for Women, view these factors primarily as behaviour, attitudes, and assumptions about women in work, including unconscious bias.”

Although women are graduating with more qualifications than men, the research shows these qualifications are not fully reflected in wages.

“This means women are not getting a fair return on their work, which also affects their families, whānau, and the wider economy,” says Margaret.

“The gender pay gap is something we can all help change – especially now we know more about it. Employers can implement solutions that tackle assumptions about women in the workplace. These include unconscious bias training, gender blind recruitment, pay transparency, and clear career progression criteria."

You can read Empirical evidence of the gender pay gap in New Zealand and what to do about the it in the Gender Pay Gap section of the Ministry's website.