Equal pay awards champions show the way for New Zealand employers

An image of Minister Genter at the YWCA Awards with Sarah Trotman, Gail Pacheco and Susan Doughty.Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter congratulates champions of the 2017 YWCA Equal Pay Awards, Lion and HR director at Simpson Grierson Jo Copeland, awarded last night.

“Employers honoured tonight are leading the way for all New Zealand employers who want to close the gender pay gap. We can all learn from their example and reap the benefits for people and business” said Ms Genter.

“Congratulations to Lion and Jo Copeland for their outstanding efforts to ensure that better employment practices are the new norm.

“People should be paid fairly for their work and most people agree that they should not be paid less because they are a woman.

“As Minister for Women, I am committed to closing the gender pay gap, starting with the core public service, and working on pay equality issues for New Zealand women.

“The YWCA Equal Pay Awards are a great way for employers to show their progress and encourage others.

“I am particularly pleased to see such a range of companies and organisations entering the awards this year.

“I encourage all New Zealand organisations to look at what they can do to understand and close their gender pay gaps, and to put it into practice,” said Ms Genter.

Minister Genter (second from right) is pictured with (from left), MC of the Awards, Sarah Trotman; AUT's Dr Gail Pacheco; and EY's Susan Doughty. 

Notes on the winners

Beverage company Lion and the Human Resources Director of law firm Simpson Grierson, Jo Copeland, have emerged as champions of equal pay at the 2017 YWCA Equal Pay Awards. After an audit in 2016 revealed a gender pay gap of 3.2 per cent, Lion made the decision to address the issue immediately by making pay adjustments to a significant number of its employees in New Zealand — 59 per cent of which were women.

Jo Copeland, Human Resources Director at Simpson Grierson, was awarded individual commendation for her championing of equal pay in 2017.

The Silver winner was engineering company AECOM, whose hiring policy of starting all new graduates joining the company on the same starting salary, and its strategic focus of encouraging more women into the industry, impressed the judges.

International tourism firm Magic Memories claimed the Bronze category for their commitment to addressing equal pay in a short space of time.

New Zealand Defence Force got an award in the Compact category.