Women in business

Todd Talks
By Todd Muller

As many of you will have seen, on March 8 we celebrated International Women's Day. While this is a great opportunity for our community not only to celebrate our wives, mothers and sisters, and to discuss the issues facing women in our society, we need to be mindful these issues should not only be front of mind one day a year – but every day.

The two biggest issues for women I feel we have a responsibility to eradicate are domestic violence and our gender pay gap. New Zealand's gender pay gap is 12 per cent. Yes, we are consistently ranked as having one of the lowest gender pay gaps in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. No, this isn't good enough. There is no justification in 2017 for paying women anything less than the value of the job.

I've had the privilege to work at both Zespri and Fonterra in senior levels in my career and looking back I probably fell into the trap of paying what the ‘market suggested' and didn't forcefully test that the proposed remuneration was genuinely fair and blind to gender. It's important we front the bias that exists so clearly across many of our employers. Granted the bias might be subconscious, but every woman should be paid what the role is worth – not what we think the woman might accept in salary negotiation.

There is a lot of debate on feminism and its role in today's age, but for me it's simple. Until I can look my daughters in the eye and assure them they will be free from violence in their homes and paid fairly in line with their male counterparts I will continue to be a determined feminist on these issues.

 

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