Pay differences exist in both the broader labour market and the public service in New Zealand. Men are paid more than women, European New Zealanders are paid more than other ethnic groups, and disabled people have lower incomes than non-disabled people.
The majority of people on the minimum wage are young people and are more likely to be women. In fact, 67% of people on the minimum wage are women. Since 2014, there has been a four percent rise in the number of women under 25 on the minimum wage since 2014 to 52.7%.
Compounding factors result in increased inequality for some groups. For example, there is a significant difference in median hourly pay rate between European men and Pacific women of $7.10 per hour.
A recent study by AUT and the Ministry for Women found that up to 83% of the gap between men and women’s pay is unexplained. This means the difference in men and women’s pay comes down to conscious or unconscious bias.
To help bridge that gap, young women need to think about negotiation tactics when they start their careers. For example, if you are quoted a salary band, push for the higher end. Also think about perks your employer can offer you that aren’t related to salary like paying for a course you want to complete or giving you extra annual leave.
Check for more negotiating tips.
“I didn’t really know how to negotiate my pay until I was around 25 to 27 years old. As someone who started working full time when I was 21, I think about how much money I missed out on because of that.
Now at the age of 30, I still know of friends who are fearful of asking for more pay and treat every pay offer like something they should be grateful for, rather than something they are worthy of. That makes me sad.”
Have you ever negotiated your pay?
What was that experience like and what was the outcome?
If you haven’t negotiated your pay before, why is that?
Would hearing from other women about their own experiences empower you to negotiate your pay?
Any advice or suggestions?