Will Kiwi women have to wait 120 years for pay parity?

Kiwi women will have to wait 120 years, until the year 2134, before they earn as much as their male counterparts.

Kiwi women will have to wait 120 years, until the year 2134, before they earn as much as their male counterparts.

That’s the damning verdict of the Green Party, which following Computerworld New Zealand reports concerning women’s place around Kiwi board tables, claims gender bias in business will continue for generations.

Data from the New Zealand Incomes Survey shows the hourly wage gap between Kiwi men and women has shifted a small amount from 2009 to 2014, with an average decrease of just 0.11%.

As a result, the hourly wage gap difference is still 13.94% or $4 less in women’s pockets every hour.

“If the hourly-income gap continues to decrease at this snail’s pace, pay equity won’t be achieved until 2134,” says Jan Logie, women’s spokesperson, Green Party.

“It’s International Women’s Day but there’s not much to celebrate for working women in New Zealand.

“Our daughters, grand-daughters, great-grand-daughters and even our great-great-grand-daughters will all live with the knowledge that, in New Zealand, their work is not as valued as their male colleagues.

“How is this ‘good enough’ in the land where women were first given the right to vote?”

As reported by Computerworld New Zealand, a recent Grant Thornton report showed that Kiwi women are going backwards rapidly on several fronts when it comes to senior management and boardroom appointments.

Since John Key became Prime Minister, Logie insists there have been clear signals he and his Government “care very little” about the issue.

“In 2009, this National Government scrapped the Labour Department’s Pay and Employment Equity unit, which was working on remedying the issue in the public sector,” Logie explains.

“Tellingly, neither the Ministry for Women, MOBIE or the SSC have any specific plans or projects to reduce gender pay gaps or promote Equal Employment Opportunities.

“Even the UN is appalled by our inaction on pay equality, noting in 2012 that: ‘… the Ministry of Women’s Affairs lacks a consistent policy for bridging the persistent wage gaps between women and men.’

“Pay equity is a malignant problem in this country and the Government, business sector and communities aren’t doing enough to remedy it.”

According to Logie, International Women’s Day is as good a day as any to acknowledge that as a country, New Zealand has a “shocking pay equity problem”.

“We hope that John Key spent his Sunday thinking of how he’s going to fix it,” Logie adds.

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