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So, I’m just gonna go ahead and assume that most of you have heard a whisper or two this year. That the gender pay gap is the worst it’s been in about 10 years. – But what does that actually mean?
Because I’m working at Macca’s earning $15.25/hour (the current adult Minimum Wage, for those of you who didn’t know). And my male co-worker is also earning $15.25/hour, then where’s the inequality?
And that’s the thing.
Despite research undertaken by the Ministry of Innovation and Employment saying that many graduates are coming out of tertiary study to similar salaries. The current pay gap between men and women is still around 11%.
That means that women in New Zealand are earning about $8000/year less than men.
A part of me wonders how that is possible! In 2016 where employment rights, and even human rights are such a major focus of our society.
But then the research starts to trickle down theories that women are overlooked for top-paying roles.
Or are more likely to be in low paid trades like beauty therapy/hairdressing, or administration. And Government (under) funded industries like teaching, nursing, aged-care, or caring for the disabled.
While males are more likely to be looking for opportunities to be their own well-paid bosses. Or are particularly savvy when it comes to negotiating a higher pay-rate in the contract signing process.
This basically says to me that in 2016, somewhere along the line women still aren’t given the tools they require. To negotiate with, work for, and compete with men.
There is still an expectation that women are homemakers, taking time from work to have and raise children.
And this shocked me to read on the Ministry for Women website (www.women.govt.nz), there is still an idea of “the appropriateness of different types of work for women and men”.
This outrages me.
And is surely discriminatory?!
There isn’t a quick fix for gender pay inequality, but it starts with raising awareness and having the conversation.
And now that we have, what are we going to do about it?
I leave you with the wise words of one James Brown: “This is a man’s world, but it would be nothing without a woman, or a girl.”