Pay gap shrinks

The gap between men’s and women’s pay in New Zealand has been steadily closing over the past six years but is still close to 13 percent.
According to the latest New Zealand Income Survey, women’s average hourly pay rate is now $16.57 or 12.9 percent less than men who earn an average of $19.02 an hour. This compares with lag of 17.2 percent when the survey was first carried out in 1997.
Women are also entering the top income bracket in greater numbers. For the June 2003 quarter, nearly 31 percent of top earners were women compared with 25.7 percent in 1997.
In response to the survey, Business NZ executive director Anne Knowles described the shrinking pay gap as good news but warned against unrealistic expectations.
“It would be mistake to assume that zero gap is inevitable as many women will continue to have breaks from the paid workforce to have children, and the job market naturally pays premium for continuity. Choices made by women to study certain subjects and work in certain occupations also affect income levels.

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