Part B – Findings and conclusion Understanding the causes of the gender pay gap enables appropriate targeting of initiatives aimed at redress. The identification of the sources of inequality is important, as the policy responses (if any) used to address the imbalance will alter depending on the nature and degree of influence of the myriad of factors identified as influencing the gender pay gap. For example, differences in male and female earnings within the same occupation may suggest the use of anti-discrimination policies to reduce the imbalance. However, differences in the wages between similar occupations may suggest that policies around comparable worth would be more effective.29 In New Zealand there is a gender pay gap nationally of around 12.5%.30 Because of this, it would be a surprise to find a large organisation without a gender pay gap. In every tertiary institution that has so far undertaken a review31 there was a gender pay gap, ranging from 6% to 32%.
Massey University staff profile Table Nine provides representation and distribution data in relation to men and women at Massey University. The representation data show the overall proportion of men and women at the University, as well as the proportion of men and women according to the two main types of work – academic and general. The distribution data provided are the proportion of men and women in senior positions. The table shows that women are well-represented overall at Massey University, comprising 56% of the workforce, compared with women’s labour market share of 47%.32 However, women comprise just a third of senior management33 and less than half of academic staff. Women are overrepresented in general staff positions and in part-time work. In short, women are less well-represented in areas where the pay tends to be higher, and overrepresented in the areas where the pay tends to be lower. The implications for gender equity are twofold: first, this is likely to have an impact on the gender pay gap; second questions why this is the case, and stresses the need to understand the organisational factors contributing to this situation.
Ibid, pp. 2,3. Statistics New Zealand. From Earnings and Employment Survey (QES), 11 October 2010. 31 One Wānanga and 15 Polytechnics and Institutes of Technology. 32 Household Labour Force Survey December 2009, Department of Labour. 33 In December 2009 when the data for the review was uploaded, there were 10 men and 5 women in the Massey Senior Leadership Team (SLT). While changes to SLT as a result of restructuring at Massey in early 2010 reduced the overall number of members, the gender composition remained the same during 2010, with 4 women and 8 men on SLT, but by early 2011 the composition was 6 women and 6 men. 30