Navigation for Insight

It's more than one hundred years since New Zealand became the first country in the world to give women the right to vote. And nearly 40 years since the Equal Pay Act made it illegal to pay a women less than a man doing the same job.

But today, for every dollar a man earns, his female colleague earns, on average, 88 cents. Why?

Is it because women are generally in the workforce for shorter periods of time and have less experience? Is it because women choose to work on a lower-paying part time or contract basis so they can balance paid employment with child-rearing?

Or is it because women workers tend to cluster in occupations that are seen as economically non-productive, like teaching or social work?

Penny MacKay investigates.

A ten dollar bank note, depicting its lower worth to women

Photo courtesy of the CTU