Sexism to blame for majority of New Zealand gender wage gap: study

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-29 17:39:45|Editor: Xiang Bo
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WELLINGTON, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- A study released on Tuesday showed that the average New Zealand woman was paid only 84 NZ cents for every 1 NZ dollar (0.72 U.S. dollars) paid for the average man.

The study on gender wage gap by researchers at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research examined employees productivity to see how much sexism is to blame for the difference in women and mens pay, and suggested that sexism is likely to be a major driver of the gender wage gap.

This study tested whether men and women are paid different wages for adding the same amount of value to their employer, said Isabelle Sin, the study's lead researcher.

The study started by looking at 50 percent of the working population between 2001 and 2011 to see how much of the overall gap between women and mens wages is to do with women working in industries that pay less.

The study found that women were over-represented in low-paying industries like food and beverage services, but this explains a mere 7 percent of the entire gender wage gap, or a couple of cents in every dollar, said Sin.

The study then looked at productivity and wages of men and women in private for-profit firms with at least five employees and found a 16 percent gender wage-productivity gap, meaning women are paid 16 percent less for making a contribution of the same value to their employer.

The gap was over 40 percent in finance and insurance, telecommunications, transport equipment manufacturing, water and air transport, and electricity, gas and water, and rail, which are sectors that have the potential for monopoly-created profits and have low competition, Sin said.

There was a 16-percent pay gap for women aged 25 to 39, a 21 percent gap for those aged 40 to 54, and a 49 percent gap for older women, the study showed, which also indicated that the gender wage-productivity gap is also higher for employees who have worked at the same firm for longer.

The research also concluded that differences in willingness or ability to bargain are unlikely to play a major role in the gender wage-productivity gap.