One hundred and twenty-five years since New Zealand women were given the right to vote, we still seem to be fighting for our voice. Obviously, there is a vast difference in gender equality in the workplace between 1893 and 2018, and we currently have another female PM, which we have been getting pretty good at getting over the last 20 years, but the fact that we are still talking about pay equity and lack of female representation at executive and board level in most industries bar teaching and nursing, in this day and age, is a real issue.
There are, of course, complexities to the issue. It’s not as though a secret club of men are conspiring to set the average salaries for women at 9.4% (2017 Pay Gap StatsNZ) below that of their male counterparts but it is hard, for example, to take a year off to have a child and slot back into some serious career progression. It’s a vast generalisation but it seems that we also do find it more difficult, in general, to sell ourselves and our achievements compared with men. This could have a profound negative impact when it comes to negotiating our pay packets. In spite of the hurdles that we still have to face, I think it’s really important to see how far we have come and to celebrate the women that are kicking butt in a range of industries. In fact, for 2018, we bring you 18 inspiring women. Let’s keep going.