YWCA launches Equal Pay Awards 2016

The YWCA Auckland has launched its third annual Equal Pay Awards.

The awards were launched in 2014, recognising best practice among business leaders who are on the journey toward equal pay.

CEO, Monica Briggs, says she is delighted to lead another campaign at a time of growing solidarity for the cause and is welcoming entries from organisations at any stage of the equal pay journey, even those in the early stages of addressing the issue.

“We’ve created emerging categories, as we believe entering the Awards benefits newcomers to equal pay too. It helps establish milestones for the future but also sends a clear message to staff and customers, that gender equality matters to their business and they are facilitating positive change in this space.”

She believes there will soon be a real need for organisations to pledge their commitment and support to gender equality in the workplace, and says the awards programme is the perfect platform for businesses to declare their equal pay intent.

“This has become a highly visible issue,” she says. “For those organisations not declaring their equal pay status, their silence will be deafening. We know from our own research, 65% of women are aware there is a gender pay gap in New Zealand. Furthermore, 41% of women believe men are given increased opportunities to get paid more in the workplace.”

Currently the gender pay gap sits at 14% based on average hourly earnings (New Zealand Income Survey: June 2015 quarter) but certain industries and sectors report far larger gaps. Accountancy reports male chartered accountants in New Zealand earn an average of $45,573 more than female chartered accountants, with male engineers earning 22 per cent more than their female counterparts.

YWCA Board Chair, Partner at awards sponsor EY, and Global Women member, Susan Doughty, says accelerating achievement of gender parity, within EY and business at large, is viewed as an economic imperative.

“I fundamentally believe that if women receive fair pay relative to male counterparts, then we will unleash the potential of women in the workforce,” she says. “We need to understand that this is as much a male issue as it is female. I’m sure that if fathers, husbands and partners understood the financial impact on them then attitudes would be different – a higher income means a higher contribution to the family unit and more disposable income to build prosperity for NZ Inc. as a whole.”

She says that since the inception of the Awards, entries have tripled – a sure indication that the NZ private and public sectors are taking notice of this issue and seeking to do something about it.

Those wishing to enter the awards must demonstrate their initiatives, processes, cultural intent and commitment to addressing equal pay within their organisation.

Entries for the awards close on 30th of September and winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on 3rd of November.

The awards are sponsored by EY, Coca-Cola Amatil and SKYCITY Entertainment Group.