According to figures from Statistics NZ’s annual income survey reported in the Dominion Post today, young women are earning almost a third less than young men in real terms.
The median weekly earnings for men aged 15-24 in 2012 was $600 compared with $384 for women of the same age.
This has been put down to young women returning to traditionally female professions which typically attract lower pay.
Also a young woman working for MacDonalds said “Guys get more shifts and more training than girls.”
This is over the same time period that the Ministry of Women’s Affairs decided to stop working on pay equity in favour of “working with industry and education partners to develop practical solutions and share information that promotes improved women’s participation in non-traditional occupations.” Not so successful really.
There has been very little change in women’s fields of employment. Women are now in non-traditional work like engineering, but the majority of us are still in female dominated care and service jobs. Nine out of ten of the jobs women are most likely to be employed in have remained the same over the last two decades;
This is why Kristine Bartlett’s equal pay case in front of the employment tribunal is so important. We really need to start fairly valuing women’s work. We also need to ensure we have mechanisms to pick up problems like preference for overtime and training being given to any group.