New data released today shows that the difference between median hourly wages for men and women is the largest since National took office in 2008 – evidence that National’s hands-off approach to closing the gender pay gap has failed, the Green Party said.
The difference between men’s and women’s median hourly wages was 11.8 percent in the June quarter 2015, according to the Statistics NZ New Zealand Income Survey, an increase from 9.9 percent in June 2014.*
“It’s clear that the National Government’s hands-off approach to gender equality is failing women in the workforce,” Green Party women’s spokesperson Jan Logie said.
“The Minister for Women says that closing the gender pay gap needs action from ‘workers, employers, career advisors and business leaders’ – but not herself!
“It’s astounding that the Minister for Women is trying to blame workers themselves for the gender pay gap when one of the first things National did when they were elected in 2008 was axe the Pay and Employment Equity unit.
“Women are literally paying the price for National’s do-nothing approach to the gender pay gap.
“The Green Party would prioritise taking action to close the gender pay gap because the fact that women’s median hourly wages are increasing at less than half the rate that men’s are is shameful.
“We need a plan to close the gender pay gap that starts with greater transparency about what women and men earn.
“The Government should be leading the way because the gender pay gap in the public service is huge, but no Ministry is willing to be responsible for fixing the problem,” said Ms Logie.
*Note: the median hourly wage measured by the New Zealand Income Survey is Statistics NZ’s preferred way of measuring the gender pay gap.