New Zealand ranks high in female economic empowerment

by NZ Adviser09 Mar 2016
New Zealand has maintained its fourth place for a second year in the PwC Women in Work Index for 2016, an upward climb from its eighth position in 2000. 

Australia continues to fall in the rankings from 17th to 20th position between 2013 and 2014, falling back to pre-2007 performance. Its performance has stagnated over time while its peers have made significant progress.
The rankings for the top 12 countries are unchanged from 2013 to 2014, with New Zealand still tailing Iceland (3), Norway (2) and Sweden (1). 

The data showed New Zealand could experience a 6.7% boost to GDP if its female employment rates were to match that of Sweden’s. 

New Zealand also has a comparatively lower difference (6%) between male and female median wages, when compared to the US (17%) and the UK (18%).
The gender wage gap isn’t as wide in New Zealand (6% between male and female median wages) as other developed nations. 

Our workforce is growing in New Zealand, not just in numbers but also in the diversity of our people and our skill sets, says PwC New Zealand partner and diversity and inclusion leader Leo Foliaki. 

“The work that we do at PwC is becoming increasingly diverse in an interconnected world economy. We are always seeking new skill sets that align to our clients’ needs, including innovation and entrepreneurship, technology and the ability to work across multiple disciplines.” 

There is a clear business case for greater flexibility, Foliaki says.

“Organisations are better positioned to fully leverage the talent of all employees by ensuring that they undertake roles suited to their skills and experience. To continue enabling the success and evolution of all our people, we needed to move on from our past ways of working. Our focus now is on flexibility and equipping our people to work from any location, using any device, at a time that suits them and our clients.” 

The Index ranks 33 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on a measure that combines five key indicators of female economic empowerment: the equality of earnings with men; the proportion of women in work (both in absolute terms and relative to men); the female unemployment rate; and the proportion of women in full-time employment. 

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