We know it will take time before the gender pay gap will close. Meanwhile, there are some things individuals can do that may help you to be paid fairly.

A first step to understanding the gender pay gap could be using our online tool What’s My Gender Pay Gap? to look at pay gaps by factors that are relevant to you, such as industry, occupation, age, and ethnicity.

You could also familiarise yourself with information on the Employment New Zealand website, which outlines your rights and responsibilities as an employee, and the expectations and requirements employers have to support their employees through policies and practices.

Applying for jobs

Consider the characteristics and reputation of where you're applying. Organisations that report on their gender pay gap, or that have more women in management, may be better employers for women. 

Consider applying for jobs even if you don’t meet all the stated requirements. Research suggests women are more likely to see stated requirements as necessary, whereas many men apply for jobs even if they don’t meet all the stated requirements. 

Find out what you’re worth. You can ask your potential employer for a salary range. You don’t need to accept the first offer nor accept an offer straight away. For some tips on how to get paid what you’re worth, visit the Careers NZ website.

Caring for children

Women with children experience a “motherhood penalty" where they are paid less per hour than women who don’t have children. Women also take more parental leave than men. Women also work part-time more often than men, which also affects the gender pay gap.

You could investigate whether both parents could reduce work hours so you’ll both be able to spend more time with your children or consider equally sharing parental leave with your partner if you can.

More information on parental leave can be found on the Employment NZ website.

Pay Equity claims

You have the right to make a pay equity claim under the Equal Pay Act. 

You can raise a pay equity claim if your work is or has been women-dominated and it is arguable (possible or credible) that the work may have been undervalued. The work of the claimant occupation is then assessed using a gender neutral work assessment tool.

The primary source of information is interviews with workers. The same process is undertaken with a range of male dominated occupations that may be working at the same level of skill, responsibility and effort. 

You can find out more information on the Employment New Zealand website.

Working in the public service

If you work for a public service department, your employer has committed to Kia Toipoto: Closing Gender, Māori, Pacific and Ethnic Pay Gaps Public Service Action Plan 2021-24.

Further reading: Gender Pay Gap

The Ministry has published a range of reports, action plans, and resources on the Gender Pay Gap.