What can employers do?

"The gender pay gap? There shouldn’t be one. I have two daughters and want them to go into a world that is fair and equitable. If I can make things better in my position, then that is something that I certainly want to do.”

Nick Stanhope, Chief Executive Officer, Sovereign

The gender pay gap is a high-level indicator of the difference between women and men’s earnings. It compares the median hourly earnings of women and men in full and part-time work. In 2017, New Zealand’s gender pay gap was 9.4 percent. 

As an employer, you play a vital role in closing the gender pay gap. Not only your organisation, but the New Zealand economy will reap the benefits when all staff are recognised and rewarded equally for their work.

This page will help you understand if you have a gender pay gap in your workplace and how to start to close it. You can find tools to help you measure the GPG within your organisation, and eliminated gender bias in recruitment and remuneration on the State Services Commission (SSC) website. These tools were jointly developed by the Ministry for Women, the State Services Commission and Stats NZ. We also have produced a booklet, Closing the gender pay gap - actions for employers, which you can download and print.

Closing the GPG is good for business

“Closing the gender pay gap is the same as any other business problem — and once it is seen that way people take it very seriously … We’ve made it one of our core business objectives. We broke the problem down, measured it, made people accountable for it, and set a three-year target.”

David McLean, Chief Executive Officer, Westpac

Closing the gender pay gap in your organisation is not just the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do. It benefits business and the wider economy. When women are compensated equally and recognised for the work they do, everyone gains.

Retain and recruit talent

Worker satisfaction is much higher where employees know their pay and chances of promotion are equal to their co-workers. More than half of female respondents in a UK survey would favour the company with the smallest pay gap, or the one that is more proactive in closing it.

Diversity is good for the bottom line

International research shows that a more diverse workforce benefits the bottom-line. McKinsey&Co found that companies with a good gender balance were 15 percent more likely to have higher than average financial returns. Diversity can increase shareholder value, and closing gender pay gaps is one way for organisations to demonstrate their progress in increasing diversity.

It’s good for the New Zealand economy

Fully utilising the skills of the whole workforce is important for our future.

A University of Canberra study found that if the gender pay gap was closed by 1 percent, Australia’s Global Economic Data would expand by 0.5 percent. The results indicate that eliminating their whole gender pay gap could be worth around A$93 billion or 8.5 percent of GDP.

It’s the right thing to do

New Zealand women are not getting a fair return on their work or their investment in education. The gender pay gap reduces women’s ability to provide for themselves, their families and whānau and to save for their retirement.

Customers, employees, and stakeholders make choices based on values. Your commitment to close the gender pay gap can enhance your brand.

Actions for employers to close the gender pay gap

We have seven suggested actions employers can take to identify whether they have a gender pay gap and how to close it:

Can you show me examples of companies addressing the gender pay gap in their organisations?

We've interviewed representatives from eleven organisations to see how they're identifying and tackling any gender pay gap in their organisations. Take a read of them, and see if there's anything you could apply to your company.

Further information

Diversity Works NZ helps businesses develop diverse and inclusive workplaces.

YWCA Auckland’s Equal Pay Awards recognise best practice among businesses on the journey towards equal pay.

The Women's Empowerment Principles give guidance on empowering women in the workplace, marketplace and community.

Champions for Change is a group of CEOs and Chairs committed to raising diversity and inclusiveness in the wider business community.

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) Australia has a number of resources for employers including a gender strategy toolkit , a guide to creating a gender equality policy, and specific help for SMEs .

LeanIn’s Women in the Workplace Study 2016 has more information on the leaking talent pipeline.

McKinsey&Co have been researching gender diversity in the workplace for 10 years and publishing their findings annually in the series Women Matter.

KPMG Australia undertook a study in 2016 on the economics of the gender pay gap there She’s Price(d)less.

There are also organisations that consult privately on workplace matters like closing gender pay gaps.