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Little to celebrate in data showing miserable progress in closing the gender pay gap

There has been little progress in closing the gender pay gap despite record low unemployment, the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions said today following the release of labour market data by Statistics NZ.

The overall gender pay gap has stubbornly persisted across the past decade.

Last year the CTU calculated women started working effectively for free on 22 November 2021. This year the data shows that this has now closed to 23 November.

NZCTU National Secretary Melissa Ansell-Bridges said, “I am not sure that one days’ worth of pay gap closure can be described as progress.

“It’s frankly disappointing and underlines the need for more urgent effort from companies and the Government on this issue.”

Pay gaps also remained persistent by ethnicity. The gap for Pasifika women means that in comparison to European men they start working for free on 3 October.

Māori women start working for free on 7 October. Asian women are working for free from 26 October. European women start working for free from 17 November. These dates show that women of all ethnicities are still facing discrimination in employment.

“With the mean gender wage gap now at 10.5%, the case for change could not be clearer. Unemployment is low, yet women of all ethnicities aren’t benefitting from the demand for labour,” said Ansell-Bridges.

“All employers should make sure that equal work is paid equally. We need greater pay transparency urgently: companies should be required to report their pay gaps publicly and job adverts should state the rate of pay by law.

“It’s time for the Government to deliver meaningful action on pay equity.”