Improving women’s employment outcomes can generate lifetime and intergenerational benefits for women, their children and whānau, and communities.
Women’s participation in the labour market has been steadily climbing over time, although this growth has slowed in recent years. Women still perform most of the unpaid work, in particular caring and community roles.
Women-dominated industries are often lower paid, and women are more likely to take breaks from the workforce to raise children. This adds up to a huge difference in lifetime earnings and wealth between women and men. We estimate that, on average, women earn $888,108 less over their lifetimes than men.
There are also greater social and economic disparities for wāhine Māori, Pacific women, ethnic and migrant women, disabled women, young women, older women, the rainbow community, and sole mothers.
Supporting women to be more economically resilient is important, and it is vital for the social and financial stability of their whānau, and for reducing child poverty.
We are focused on improving the social and economic wellbeing of women and girls across Aotearoa New Zealand by:
- developing and leading the implementation of the actions in
Te Mahere Whai Mahi Wāhine Women’s Employment Action Plan.
- working to implement pay transparency.
- working to eliminate the gender pay gap.
- working with Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission on the Equal Pay Taskforce.
- working with Te Tai Ōhanga The Treasury to implement gender budgeting in the Budget process.
- conducting research and analysing available data across New Zealand on women’s employment and the labour market.
- commissioning new research on the access to childcare to support women in employment.