Media and Events
Income Inequalities: the gender gap and parenthood penalty
Leading research from Professor Gail Pacheco indicates that New Zealand still faces issues of equality; the gender pay gap remains at 9.2% and worsens after motherhood. Commissioned by the Ministry for Women, Professor Pacheco’s report ‘Parenthood and Labour Market Outcomes’ showed that women across all income groups are less likely to be employed after becoming mothers.
News about the gender pay gap and the cost of motherhood gained media attention on 29 May 2018 and has since sparked a vigorous debate about New Zealand’s progress toward equality. Opinions were particularly strong during the New Zealand Suffrage Week in mid-September, with NZWRI's tweets gaining almost 7,500 impressions when reflecting on the NZ Herald article ‘Mind the Gap’.
Many organisations joined the discussion about New Zealand’s income inequalities, an array of which include: Southland Express; 1News; Radio NZ ; NZ Herald; The Conversation; Ministry for Women; The Spinoff; Newsie ; National Council of Women of New Zealand; Voxy.co.nz; AUT News; The Age; Stuff NZ; Brisbane Times, WA Today; The Sydney Morning Herald; Employment Today Magazine; and Victorious.
Later in the year, Professor Pacheco told NZ Herald that she was pleased to see women's financial positions are improving, but acknowledged that major hurdles remain when it comes to equal pay, motherhood, and the growing retirement savings gap in New Zealand (see also Stuff NZ).
2018 NZIER Economics Award Winner - Professor Gail Pacheco
Our Director, Professor Gail Pacheco, was the 2018 recipient of the prestigious NZIER Economics Award. This annual award seeks to highlight outstanding contributions to the advancement of economics and its applications in New Zealand. Professor Pacheco was selected as the awardee due to the diversity, quantity and quality of her work. The Award Panel made particular note of her efforts addressing New Zealand’s gender pay gap.
On the morning of 29 August 2018, AUT News published the article ‘Professor takes out economics prize’, which led to a whirlwind of praise from around the country. NZWRI's tweets gained almost 7,000 impressions, which was accompanied by congratulatory remarks from organisations including Stats NZ, Productivity Commission, the Ministry for Women and AUT University.
The Four-day Working Week
Deputy Director, Professor Jarrod Haar, was one of two academic researchers that were asked to analyse the impact of Perpetual Guardian’s four-day working week trial earlier this year. Results were striking; reduced working hours without a cut in pay increased employee job satisfaction, work-life balance, organisational commitment and work stimulation. Not only was the trial dubbed ‘a resounding success’, but so too was the public’s response.
News of the trial first hit the media on 19 July 2018 and was quick to circulate globally. Professor Haar’s article in The Conversation was read by 60,000 people within the first two weeks of publishing, and has since been chosen among The Conversation’s top 50 articles to fashion The Conversation Yearbook 2018. Twitter also erupted on the hashtag ‘4dayweek’ as many news outlets worldwide continued to report on the trial’s success.
Soon after, Perpetual Guardian announced to NZ Herald that the shortened week will become company policy. Professor Haar told Stuff NZ that he is planning a three-month follow-up to see if the trial's success is maintained.