Gap in gender pay closes but Pacific women are being left behind, figures show

The pay gap between men and women in the public sector has seen it's biggest drop in 17 years and while that includes promising figures for Māori there's still concern Pacific women are being left behind.

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But there are still big concerns Pacific women are being left behind. Source: 1 NEWS

The gender pay gap compares the difference in average salary between men and women.

Figures show the gap in the public sector went from 12.2 per cent in 2018 to 10.5 per cent this year, a decrease of 1.7 per cent.

It includes the likes of Work and Income staff, Department of Conservation rangers and Immigration officers.

Despite the first significant drop for Māori and Pacific women, both still remain well behind, With Māori women at 16.3 per cent, while the pay gap for Pacific women is at 25.6 per cent.

It’s being questioned by the Human Right’s Commission.

“If we've managed to close the ethnic pay gap for Māori why are we not closing it for Pacific?” says the Commisison’s Dr Karanina Sumeo.

Dr Sumeo says the State Services Commission and the Government need to do more.

“We're hearing from Pacific people that they are often overlooked so it's not that they're not putting their hands up, they're putting their hands up for progression and not given the opportunity,” she says.

The Prime Minister says a gender pay gap is unfair.

"Any gender pay gap should not exist, it simply speaks to unfairness in our system, it’s one of the things we've been focussed on of course in our public sector but also in making sure we get our legislation in the right place to start addressing those really significant issues,” says Ms Ardern.

More pay equity claims are on the way, the PSA union is pushing for settlements for women in social services and administration work.