Statistics New Zealand says the gender pay gap is down to 9.4% in the June 2017 quarter, down from 12% in the June 2016 quarter. This is the smallest gender pay gap in five years, after women’s hourly pay rose at a faster pace than men’s in the past year.
“Recently, there's been a spotlight on gender pay inequality in New Zealand,” labour and income statistics manager Sean Broughton says.
"The decrease from a 12% gap last year is the biggest drop in the gender pay gap since the series began in 1998.”
Median hourly earnings from wages and salaries rose 80c (3.4%), to $24.29, in the year to the June 2017 quarter. For women, median hourly earnings rose by $1.02 (4.6%).
Women’s Minister Paula Bennett has welcomed the reduction in the pay gap.
“I’ve made sure that this is the top priority for both me and the Ministry for Women. It’s fantastic to see such a significant reduction,” she says.
“Don’t get me wrong, I still believe having any gender pay gap is completely unacceptable but it’s moving in the right direction. I want New Zealand to be the first country to eliminate the gender pay gap and I believe we can.
“Research shows that companies that have diversity are more successful and ultimately make more money.
“I believe businesses are taking this issue seriously. I would encourage them to keep promoting women who deserve to be promoted and encourage more women onto boards.”