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Sunday, January 23, 2022

From Today, You’re Working for Free: How NZ’s Most Influential Women Are Using Their Out Of Office to Fight the Pay Gap

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The gender pay gap in NZ is just more than 9% – and with 9% of the year to go, Kiwi women are now effectively working for free. Here’s what you can do to fight back.

“I am out of the office until January 1, 2022.”

How good would be it be to write those words on your email’s automatic reply today?

While an actual extended holiday might be out of the question, you CAN do your part today to lend your voice to the ongoing gender pay gap fight because from today, we’re all essentially working for free.

On average, New Zealand women are paid 9.1 % less than our male counterparts – and with 9.1% of the year left, this effectively means that from today 29th November onwards women are working for free. 

This inequality is even worse for Māori and Pasifika women, who began “working for free” on November 10th and October 18th respectively. 

The date has been calculated based on the gender pay gap of 9.1%. This means the average Kiwi woman is only paid for 332 days, compared to their male counterparts. 

Global Women, a collective of some of New Zealand’s most influential leaders advocating for equity and equality for women, has today called on its members to ‘down tools’ and put on their out of office, to raise awareness of the gender pay gap that remains at 9.1% for women in Aotearoa. 

Celebrated businesswoman and Chair of Global Women Theresa Gattung says: “New Zealand has come a long way in terms of recognising the value of diversity and inclusion in business and in society more broadly, but the fact remains that you cannot have authentic inclusion until there is equity and everyone at the table is valued, remunerated and represented equally.”

“We want New Zealanders to take note of this day and to be emboldened to talk about topics like pay equity and pay transparency every day until equity is achieved.”

So, what can you do today for the cause? Turn on your Out of Office for the day to protest and raise awareness of the pay gap in New Zealand. Request pay gap information from your employer. And when you’re negotiating your next pay increase or new salary, check in with your company’s policies and don’t be afraid to negotiate.

And here’s the Global Women OOO if you’re keen to join in!

I am out of office until 1 January 2022.

That got your attention – didn’t it? I am not, but for some women, they should be. 

On average, New Zealand women are paid 9.1 % less than our male counterparts – and with 9.1% of the year left, this effectively means that from today 29th November onwards women are working for free. 

This inequality is even worse for Māori and Pasifika women, who began “working for free” on November 10th and October 18th respectively. 

[Optional: While I’m fortunate to work at an organisation who have closed the gender pay gap – many women are not in that position]

We urgently need to close the gender pay gap and bring pay equity and transparency to the fore in New Zealand. Please join us by sharing this message in your out of office today and help us to keep the conversation going every day until the gap is closed. 

You can find out more about the equity initiatives Global Women is driving such as Champions for Change and programmes we are supporting including Mind the Gap and the Pay Secrecy campaign on www.globalwomen.org.nz

* The gender pay gap of 9.1% has been sourced from Statistics New Zealand. This has been calculated using median hourly earnings from main wage and salary when working out the gender pay gap.  Comparing median hourly earnings for Māori women against earnings for all men, gives a gender pay gap of 14.0% and 20.6% for Pasifika women.

Median hourly earnings from wage and salary from table 7475 on NZdotstat, which includes selectable breakdowns by ethnicity, sex, age group, and occupation. 

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