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Pay gap not closing for young women

Young women are earning almost a third less than young men in real terms, despite the gender pay gap closing.

Men aged 15 to 24 brought home median weekly earnings of $600 in 2012, compared with $384 for women of the same age, figures from Statistics New Zealand’s annual Income Survey show.

Young women’s total incomes have stagnated in recent years, as they worked fewer hours than men, and in lower-paid industries.

The smallest gap in real incomes was in 2009, when men took home $5560 a year more than women. By 2012, this gap had doubled to $11,200.

The gulf in real incomes comes despite a closing of the pay gap between men and women doing roughly equal work. In 2011, young men were paid 4.3 per cent more than women in similar work, which fell to 2.2 per cent in 2012.

A McDonald’s worker, Chloe Sifflett, 21, said favouritism towards boys certainly played a role in her workplace. “Guys get more shifts and more training than the girls.”

She believed women her age needed to be more aware of equality issues, but understood why workers might not want to rock the boat.

“The main priority is finding a job and keeping a job.”

Excerpt from Fairfax story – read the full article online here.


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