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The Gender Pay Gap

The gap in the gender pay is a high-level demonstration of the disparity between the earnings of men and women. It generally evaluates the median hourly earnings of men and women in the work of either full-time or part-time nature. In the year 2016, the gender gap was around 12 per cent. Since the year 1998 (16.3 per cent), the gender pay gap has reduced drastically, but has hindered in the last decade (Kelsey, 2015). In the year, March 2017, the Ministry for Women unconfined the research, Empirical evidence of the gender pay gap in New Zealand, focusing on the grounds of the gap in gender pay in New Zealand. The research report stated that main factors behind the gap in the gender pay, assisting in focusing on the efforts. This research has made use of the data of New Zealand Income Survey from the year 2015. This research has been able to find that the larger majority of the gender pay crack has been hard driven by factors like unconscious and conscious biasness impacting negatively on the recruitment of women and advancement in pay. It also takes in the variations in choices between men and women along with their behaviors.

The research has also been able to find that the proportion in the pay gap remains inexplicable becoming bigger issue and more important for the female employees on elevated wages. For the women working with lower incomes, factors such as responsibilities of families, work and education remains significant. It has been able to find out that the comparative size of the gap in gender pay augments for female employees on higher incomes. There is a smaller gap within the gender pay between the female and male employees on the lowest possible wages. The Ministry is of the notion that occupations with lower pays have narrower pay bands, having less scope for paying men and women in a different way.  The National Council of Women is mainly concerned about the certain disadvantaged groups, Maori and Pacific being paid less per hour than the European women with disabled women being paid much less than disabled men.

The causes that give rise to gender pay are very multifaceted. In the past, an extensive portion of the gap within the gender pay has been due to the factors like education differences, occupations and industries that the men and women generally work in. 80 per cent of the gender pay gap is now being driven by certain unexplained factors (women.govt.nz, 2017). These are certainly harder in measuring factors like conscious and unconscious bias that negatively impacts on the women’s selection and their advance payment. The skills and competencies of women are often undervalued, so women have frequently been earning less than their male counterparts, for doing the comparable jobs having equal values. The pay scales for the jobs that needs parallel skills along with experience or education tends to be lower when being done by women. Another distinctive way through which the competencies of women and the skills that is being undervalued could be reflected in the rate of promotion within the organization.; gender stereotypes that states women have been perceived less competent or ‘managerial’ (Holdsworth, 2015). The status of women as being mothers means that the organizations question their obligation to work. Recent research have been depicting that women are being promoted at much lower rates than their male counterparts.

Causes

All the above stated factors are interrelated. There is still existence of intensely held communal attitudes and certain viewpoint about the work type that are apposite for both men and women along with the significance of the occupations dominated by men and women and the allotment of the unpaid work (women.govt.nz, 2017). These sort of attitudes have been affecting not only the choices being made by men and women around the unpaid and paid work, but also the others’ behavior intended towards men and women making choices that are not enough dependable with the conventional beliefs.

Differences within the preferences and behaviors take in men and women’s enthusiasm in bargaining the conditions of pay and whether the employers need to treat women in different manner from men at the time of the negotiation. There has been a recent research whose outcome has been that women are prepared to negotiate for the pay factor but men are more likely to get pay amplification when negotiating.

Bias have been occurring automatically and at certain times mechanically, using shortcuts and pigeonhole that simplify, distort or highlight information and is often described as the ‘fast thinking’. Efficiency along with speed are stated to be the advantage of fast thinking with the disadvantage being people does not always take pertinent information into their account before making any sort of judgment that often leads to poor-quality decisions. Bias have been making it complicated for women in adapting and succeeding at workplaces, as through its nature, it is enormously challenging to identify, specially by those who have been benefiting from it along with those who are being disadvantaged (Zealand, 2014). Discrimination has always been stated to be against the law, bias can be affecting the decision making of people in the ways that they are not much aware of.

The gap that exists between the amount paid to men and women has barely made a modification in the 14 years since the first key attempt was made in measuring the disparity being published in 2003, a new report that came out of the Ministry for Women. The report from the ‘Empirical Evidence of the Gender Pay Gap in New Zealand stated that the gap in the gender pay in 2015  was around 12.7 per cent as compared to 2003’s 12.8 per cent, formed on the data from the 1990s (Kelsey, 2015). The key thing that has altered between now and then is the fact that women, on an average, have started becoming more qualified than their male counterparts. The report has been instrumental in finding that approximately at all the levels of education; females have been outstripping their male equivalents. For instance, the male proportion having bachelor’s qualification has augmented from 14.3 per cent to 22.5 per cent in the year 2015, in case of females it has increased from 12.4 per cent to 30.5 per cent (women.govt.nz, 2017). There has been apparent evidence in New Zealand, where the gender pay gap has been augmenting when one moves up the wage distribution channel.

Behavior, Biases and Attitude

At the heart of the issue is the key fact that women and men who have been working mutually or together do not always speak the same language. The primary differences in the way men and women reflect as portrayed by Carol Gilligan in her volume A Different Voice leads to the essential variations in a way they converse commitment in job, expertise in managerial work, leadership along with a host of other encouragement- germane competencies. There has been a general worry when people talk distinctively of men and women at workplace and the way they differ. But this is being done, if not inherently, then because of the socialization, along with the way they have been communicating these knowledge, which is different as well. Unfortunately, as written by Gilligan, it has become difficult in saying “different” without stating “worse” or “better”. Men have been broadly developing the normal value of workplace measurements. When there is no conformity, the accepted conclusion is that there is incredibly with women that they cannot guide efficiently lead.

Terranova’s decision has put pay equity back on New Zealand’s political agenda. However, pay equity’s future has been far from protected. As one of the most controversial issues, this topic has attracted much attention and debate, having both critics and advocates.

The labor market of New Zealand has been one of the less regulated ones globally. Subsequently, reactions of negative nature to the market interference in the shape of pay equity are to be anticipated. For instance, Business New Zealand in its responsibility as intervener in ‘Service and Food Workers Union Nga Ringa Tota Inc v Terranova Homes and Care Ltd, had certain concerns regarding the viability of the equity in pay, presented as “impracticable and unjustifiably arduous on employers”. It has been inconsistent with the present labor market of New Zealand.

The Terranova approach becomes an appropriate methodology in case of working women undervalue system (Shamsi & Suthar, 2016). From the pre industrial era, it has been observed that the women in New Zealand have been facing serious discrimination regarding their job. Law became enacted to stop this inequality but nothing has been changed at all. In the year 1972, an Act named Equal Pay Act was enacted to curb the problem, but the gender gap problem remains unchanged (Walsh, 2017). However, the Terranova case has become able to change the scenario and somehow succeed to establish the principle of equal pay regarding the equal work value. The Terranova approach create a serious impact on the labor force of New Zealand and able to bring significant change in the progressive standpoint regarding the social inequality.

Terranova case details: The intrinsic particular of the case is that the female caregiver in New Zealand had lower rate of income than the male. The dispute arises on the point that the job of caregivers is exclusively female-based job. Due to the different earnings ratio, the structure of gender discrimination was emerged. The issue points of the case were the scope of equal payment for women employees that are exclusively done by them and how the requirements are to be evaluated. The Court observed that job like care giving is particularly women-based work and discrimination regarding this kind of job shall not be tolerated. Having interpretation of the provision regarding the section 3 (1) (b) of Equal Pay Act 1972 the court came into conclusion that the section particularly made a comparison with the hypothetical male. Besides this, section 9 of the same Act has given a broad power to the court to deal with the principles relating to the execution of equal payment in the work sector.

New Zealand Pay Gap in Previous Years

Section 3(1) (b) of the Act has clearly coined the view that if any job that is particularly a female-based job, then they should be paid equal to the male employees and the undervaluation of work may lead to gender discrimination (Alonso, Moscoso, & Salgado, 2017).

The court was pleased to place its judgment in favor of the women with a view that the law of New Zealand itself has given the women a space so that they can get payment equally (Kelsey, 2015).

Equal pay and employment equality Bill has been taken with an aim to curb the discrimination regarding the lower payment of income rates in New Zealand. Fifteen sections in the bill indicate its support towards the gender equality. Section 12 of the Bill indicates certain remedies regarding the discrimination (Pega et al., 2017).

Many scholars of New Zealand has supported the facts of Terranova’s case and express their views by supporting the job equality as well as equal pay for woman (McGregor, Bell, & Wilson, 2016). However, from the scholarly analytical point of view, the New Zealand governance had failed to secure the interest of women in the job sphere. Many Acts were enacted with a view to eradicate the problem from its root, but all were in vain due to the non-active part of the male dominating society. It has been observed that from the pre-industrial period, there is a yawning gap between the male and female regarding the payment ratio in New Zealand. The female are paid less than 10% payment than the male employees (Ryan, Ravenswood & Pringle, 2014). It is of less important whether the skill or labor is indulging in that work by the men or women are same or not. New Zealand has to face serious problem due to the job or payment discrimination before the International standard. However, the case of Terranova has able to cure the problem and the society has appreciated the bold step regarding the same.

The gender gap problem in the society of New Zealand is of serious nature and New Zealand has to face criticism regarding the same on international level (Henry & Powell, 2015). The women employees of the society were discriminated and their income rates were much lesser than the male employees were. The women were faced those inequalities irrespective of their skills and labor. Section 3 of the Equal Pay Act 1972 has enumerated certain provision regarding the equal pay. Especially, in section 3 (1) (b) of the same Act it has been mentioned clearly that where the job is women-based, there shall be no discrimination regarding the payment and there shall be no male dominating factors regarding the same. Section 9 of the Act has given ample power to the court so that they can deal with the problem and pass necessary judgment regarding the same (Palmer, 2014). Unfortunately, the passing year regarding the Equal Pay Act was 1972 and no effective judgment has ever been passed in favor of the women. The society became male dominating and the interest of women in the society began to deteriorating. However, the condition has begun to change with the case of Terranova, where the Court was please to take the right approach regarding the same and pronounced its judgment in favor of the woman who were worked as a care giver.

Issues

One draft bill regarding the equity has been proposed by the New Zealand government and some measures has been taken by the drafting authority that are related with the predominant woman of the society (Dalziel, & Saunders, 2014). This bill has been drafted with a view to prevent the violence against women. It has chalked out a framework regarding the said problem and intends to remove the problem by distribute the power in between the men and women. Keeping in mind the potentiality of the Equal Pay Act, the bill has regenerated the waging gap and taken a step towards the gender equality. As mentioned in section 6 of the Equal Pay Act, 1972, equality measure should have to take for the effective solution of the problem. The same said draft bill has focused on the topic and take necessary step regarding the same. The draft bill has been able to follow up the norms initiated by the United Nations regarding the protection of women against discrimination. Article 11 of the United Nation’s covenant, the government has to take all necessary methods to eradicate the social ill.

The draft bill has able to take some serious action regards to the discrimination and point out some possibilities regarding the consequence of gender gap. It has emphasized the provision of Equal Pay Act and able to wipe out the problem relating to the women. The draft bill was proposed to develop the status of the women in the society. It is very important to create friendly atmosphere in the work place. Discrimination affects this and it becomes a serious threat to the society. If the society become able to eradicate this problem from the root, the level of the society as well as the job criteria become more amicable and there shall be a good understanding within the employees, irrespective of men or women. These can be indicating as the potential benefit regarding the draft bill.

Conclusion:

Therefore, from the above noted report, it can be concluded that New Zealand is in a crucial standpoint regarding the consequence of gender gap. If the pay equity can be established, many women get benefit and the economics of New Zealand will be get privilege at large. The female-based jobs were continued to be low paid and the conditions of the labor market was demoralized by that. Terranova’s case was a bold step as against the problem, by which the provision of Equal Pay Act was established and the society has started to develop the pay equity among its employees. The draft employment bill has also focused on the points of the gender gap and makes a potential outline in favor of the employment and payment equality.

Reference:

Alonso, P., Moscoso, S., & Salgado, J. F. (2017). Structured behavioral interview as a legal guarantee for ensuring equal employment opportunities for women: A meta-analysis. The European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context, 9(1), 15-23.

Dalziel, P., & Saunders, C. (2014). Wellbeing economics: future directions for New Zealand. Bridget Williams Books.

Gender pay gap » Employment New Zealand. (2017). Employment.govt.nz. Retrieved 14 June 2017, from

https://www.employment.govt.nz/hours-and-wages/pay/pay-equity/gender-pay-gap/

Henry, N., & Powell, A. (2015). Embodied harms gender, shame, and technology-facilitated sexual violence. Violence against women, 1077801215576581.

Holdsworth, R. E. (2015). The race to bridge the gap: An analysis of women's policy within the spectrum of New Zealand politics in the lead up to the 2014 general election (Doctoral dissertation, University of Waikato).

Kelsey, J. (2015). Reclaiming the future: New Zealand and the global economy. Bridget Williams Books.

Kelsey, J. (2015). Reclaiming the future: New Zealand and the global economy. Bridget Williams Books.

Kelsey, J. (2015). The New Zealand experiment: A world model for structural adjustment?. Bridget Williams Books.

McGregor, J. (2014). New Zealand's boardroom blues: Time for quotas. Women's Studies Journal, 28(2), 4.

McGregor, J., Bell, S., & Wilson, M. (2016). Human Rights in New Zealand: Emerging Faultlines. Bridget Williams Books.

Palmer, G. (2014). Law-Making in New Zealand: Is There a Better Way. Waikato L. Rev., 22, 1.

Pega, F., Reisner, S. L., Sell, R. L., & Veale, J. F. (2017). Transgender Health: New Zealand’s Innovative Statistical Standard for Gender Identity. American Journal of Public Health, (0), e1-e5.

Research on the gender pay gap | Ministry for Women. (2017). Women.govt.nz. Retrieved 14 June 2017, from

https://women.govt.nz/work-skills/income/gender-pay-gap/research

Ryan, I., Ravenswood, K., & Pringle, J. K. (2014). 10 equality and diversity in aotearoa new Zealand. 9.78 E+ 12: Country Perspectives on Diversity and Equal Treatment, 175.

Shamsi, S., & Suthar, J. (2016). Occurrence of Terranova larval types (Nematoda: Anisakidae) in Australian marine fish with comments on their specific identities. PeerJ, 4, e1722.

Walsh, D. J. (2017). EQUAL PAY ACT. The American Middle Class: An Economic Encyclopedia of Progress and Poverty [2 volumes], 395.

Zealand, S. N. (2014). Measuring the gender pay gap. Statistics New Zealand, Wellington.

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