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Pay transparency key to closing gender pay gap

Friday, Sep 6, 2019

Diversity Works New Zealand is proud to support the Human Rights Commission’s Pay Transparency Campaign, calling for information on pay scales and career progression to be made readily available by employers.

Pay transparency is knowing whether you are being paid fairly compared with people in the same or comparable roles. A transparent mechanism is an essential component of pay equity that will provide employees with pay information to make a pay equity claim against employers.

Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Saunoamaali’i Karanina Sumeo says New Zealand needs pay transparency because workers, especially Māori, Pacific and Asian women are being paid far less than men in the same or similar roles.

“So many brave women are now sharing their heart-breaking stories of how they continue to be undervalued and underpaid in the workplace. Many are parents, carers or the main income earners for their households. We need to stop talking about fairness and dignity and just get on with it!” says Saunoamaali’i.

“As a Pacific woman of colour, there is extra effort and hoops that I need to jump through. There is a group of people in society that miss out because of what they look or sound like and that is so wrong. Pay Transparency will correct this wrong,” says Nia Bartley from Wellington.

“Without pay transparency, it is sort of like fighting fog. You are trying to validate to yourself and others that this problem exists. If we have pay transparency in place, then it’s a much easier process. We need to work a lot harder on creating a fair and equitable society,” adds Nancy McShane from Christchurch.

Diversity Works New Zealand is one of 10 coalition partners who are also calling on the Government to introduce pay transparency in the workplace to close the gender pay gap.

Other partners include the Public Service Association, Council of Trade Unions, National Council of Women, YWCA, PASIFIKA, Rural Women, Women in Urbanism, First Union, Coalition for Equal Value Equal Pay and the Women Empowerment Principles Committee.

The EEO Commissioner says making pay visible will identify unconscious bias and deep discrimination within the workplace and help New Zealand close the gender and ethnic pay gaps.

“The Government and employers urgently need to act. Pay transparency is essential to ensure our workforce, especially women are professionally respected and receive equal pay for equal value of work. This would be a significant step towards eliminating discrimination,” says Saunoamaali’i.


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