RNZ, Wellington, Auckland, September 2, 2018
A leading business woman is warning that New Zealand will not achieve pay equity for another 26 years.
Government statistics show it has taken New Zealand 20 years to drop the gender pay gap from 16% in 1998 to just over 9% in 2018.
GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals General Manager Anna Stove said at that rate pay equity would not be achieved until at least 2044.
“We need to pick up the momentum…we need to look at the introduction of gender based targets and, potentially, regulation to enforce them.”
Ms Stove said that New Zealand was leagues behind the United Kingdom and Australia when it came to fair pay.
“I think that we are behind everyone at the moment…although New Zealand got the women’s vote 125 years ago and we led the charge, I think because we have not brought in any other sort of legislation, the momentum has just not really happened. If you look at most developed countries in Europe and even Australia, they are in a much stronger position.”
Ms Stove said that was most likely due to the “systemic and complex” problems surrounding societal views towards women.
“So I just think that because we still have this gender pay gap and because legislation has not been bought in and businesses are not reporting on this situation, and it is just that we are undervaluing women in New Zealand,” she said.
Ms Stove said that in order to quickly reduce the gap, more women needed to be supported into leadership roles by their employers.
She also called on the government to introduce legislation which would mandate the minimum levels of women on boards.
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Picture for RNZ by Eva Corlett