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Diversity in the news, December 2017

Monday, Dec 4, 2017, by Sheryl Blythen

We look at the diversity and inclusion stories making headlines in the past month. The new Government has taken a firm stance on pay equity, stating it aims to close the gender pay gap in the public sector within four years. Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter told TVNZ’s Q&A programme that progress on this issue had stagnated in the past decade. The gap, she said, could be closed by holding the chief executives of government agencies "accountable" and writing equal pay for women into their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). New Zealand's economy has a nearly $900 million annual economic hole because of low numbers of women in management roles, new research suggests. A study of 500 businesses conducted for Westpac by Deloitte found women make up 49 per cent of the workforce but only 29 per cent of leadership roles. But if there was an even split of men and women in management there would potentially be an $881m boost to the economy and a positive impact on businesses themselves, the NZ Herald reports. Findings from the latest New Zealand Diversity Survey attracted attention across the media. Diversity Works New Zealand Chief Executive Bev Cassidy-Mackenzie spoke to TVNZ’s Breakfast show about what organisations can be doing to ensure they have more women in their leadership teams after the October research showed that 20 per cent of businesses have leadership teams comprised predominantly of men (75 per cent). Bev also spoke to TV3’s AM Show about how the survey indicated more than half our businesses value workers over 55, and what they are doing to harness the skills and institutional knowledge wisdom workers offer. Parents will have 22 weeks of paid leave starting in July next year and 26 weeks' leave by July 2020 with the passing of the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill. Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway told Parliament, “This move is great news for babies, parents and families. It will provide greater financial certainty and confidence for working families." Read more.

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