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Unconscious bias blamed for gender gap

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/03/2017

Bias and perceptions about women in the workplace are continuing to drive the gender pay gap, new research shows.

Women's Minister Paula Bennett says the news that 80 per cent of the gender gap is caused by unconscious bias is disappointing and wants to see employers do a gender pay audit.

Research by the Auckland University of Technology found only 20 per cent of the gender pay gap could be explained by differences in education, occupation and industry, and the fact women are more likely to work part-time.

"It's simply unacceptable that women who are as productive and contribute so significantly to business and the economy are paid less than men," Ms Bennett told the Human Resources Institute of New Zealand in her first major speech in the portfolio.

In response to the research Ms Bennett is calling on businesses to look at whether women are being promoted into positions they deserve and offer clear career progression criteria.

Researchers say the fact women are now more highly qualified than men should be reducing the gender pay gap.

The official national gender pay gap is now at 12 per cent.

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