December 01, 2020
Glass ceiling keeps Maori academics under-paid
A new study has found Māori and Pacific academics are under-paid and under-promoted compared to non-Māori and Pacific.
The study, Glass Ceilings in New Zealand Universities, looked at the pay and promotion of more than 17,000 academics across New Zealand’s eight universities in the 15 years to 2018.
It found Māori and Pacific female academics earn on average $7700 less than non-Māori and Pacific men, and were 65 per cent less likely to be promoted to associate professor or professor.
The study contradicts a report by Sir Wira Gardiner and Hekia Parata into claims of systemic racism at Waikato University, which declared Māori staff were not paid less than equivalent non-Māori staff.
Study co-author Dr Sereana Naepi says it confirms the stories of racism shared by multiple Māori academics over the years, including those at Waikato.
"You can’t write this off as a one-off experience or 'you misunderstood what I meant when I said that.' No, we have quantitative data that shows we are being underpaid, under-promoted, we are under-represented, so let's do something. Let's say there is racism in our institutions and work towards addressing that in meaningful ways beyond policies that don't really do anything," she says.
Dr Naepi says it’s time for an external investigation of racism in the tertiary sector.
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