While there’s a lot the government and employers can do, individual women also have a part to play.
As a woman, what can I do?
Raising awareness that a gender pay gap exists is important. Share research results with your professional and social networks, spread the message that further action on behaviours and attitudes inside the workplace and wider society is needed. Support voluntary private sector monitoring, and effective diversity and inclusion plans.
Get involved in your workplace when diversity, inclusion, and women’s issues come up.
When you’re considering applying for a job, look at the representation of women in the leadership of the companies you’re applying for. This is an indication that women are valued at all levels. The State Services Commission publishes the gender pay gaps of public service organisations.
Be aware of your worth when negotiating for pay, as women tend to undersell themselves more than men do. Negotiating is easier when starting a new role, as it is more difficult to shift pay significantly when established in a role. Ask for the salary bands from your prospective employer, ask in your networks what would be a fair rate of pay, ask men as well as women. Use this information to ask for an appropriate pay rate.
As a mother, what can I do?
While women are now graduating with more bachelor-level qualifications than men, not enough are qualifying in some high-growth and well-paying industries. Encourage your daughters into science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) – this will open a world of opportunity for them.
Perceptions of what is “women’s work” start at an early age, so start engaging your daughters with career ideas from a young age. Children get information about careers from their parents and their friends. Use the Careers New Zealand website to support your advice.
We have a directory of providers of STEM training, check it out for some inspiration.