July 04, 2023
Secret deals widen ethnic and gender pay gaps
The Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner the culture of secrecy around what people are paid is covering up deep-seated racial and gender discrimination.
Saunoamaali’i Karanina Sumeo wants to see pay transparency legislation requiring employers to publish pay rates for all advertised positions, as well as collect ethnicity and gender data.
She says the recent National Pacific Pay Gap Inquiry Report found glaring pay disparities between men and women, and Pakeha, Maori and Pasifika.
“If you look over a lifetime – for a maori wahine, we’re looking at a difference of $400-thousand – over a 40-year-working lifetime. You know, for that money you could have bought a house. You could have probably started a business, you could have provided opprotunities for our tamariki,” Dr Sumeo says.
The problem has become inter-generational – because even though Maori and Pasifika are increasingly gaining tertiary and trade qualifications – they are still being paid less than their pakeha counterparts – and that’s a result of the continuing cultutre of secrecy around who is being paid what in a business.