The Gender Pay Gap in New Zealand

Student journalist Imogen Atkins reviews the gender pay gap in New Zealand. Image: www.washingtonpost.com
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The gender pay gap is still a relevant issue in New Zealand.

In 2015, New Zealand Statistics released data revealing that the gender pay gap is the worst it’s been in ten years.

Gender-pay gap- 1998-2015. Image supplied by New Zealand Statistics
Gender pay gap- 1998-2015. Image supplied by New Zealand Statistics

 

The above graph shows that the periods of the strongest decrease were between 1998 – 2002 and 2008 – 2012. It also suggests that the gender pay gap has been decreasing since 1998, but has fluctuated in the last few years.

In the June 2015 quarter, median hourly pay for males was $24.07, and for females, it was $21.23. Thus making the gender pay gap 11.8 percent.

Overall, from the June 1998 to the June 2015 quarter the percentage increase in hourly pay for females was 76.0 percent, while for males it was 67.2 percent.

In dollar terms, hourly pay for males and females increased by a similar amount ($9.67 and $9.17, respectively).

Factors that could contribute to the indifference:

Occupational segregation:

One in three females who work part time, compared with just over one in ten employed makes.

This influences the gender pay gap because the majority of part-time jobs are lower paid than full-time jobs.

This is due to the types of work on offer are relatively lower-paying industries such as retail, hospitality, and accommodation.

Female-dominated occupations tend to be lower paid than those dominated by men e.g. nursing and administration.

Societal expectations:

The explained portion of the gender pay gap can also be influenced by societal expectations of women, including that women will be the primary caregivers in families, and the appropriateness of different types of work for women and men.

Unconscious Bias:

Stereotypical views about gender can negatively influence decisions about recruitment and career progression of women in the workforce.

 

Imogen Atkins
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