Calls are being made to end the bias against women in the workforce.
Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller says research from the Ministry for Women shows that there is a conscious and unconscious bias against women in the workplace; this has to stop.
“There is no justification in 2017 for paying women anything less than the value of the job.” New Zealand's gender gap is currently 12 per cent, down from 16.3 per cent in 1998.
“Although we are consistently ranked as having one of the lowest gender pay gaps in the OECD, this is still not good enough.
“I have 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.”
Todd says it's important to front the bias that exists so clearly across many of the country's 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 that they will be paid fairly in line with their male counterparts I will continue to be a determined feminist on this issue.”
The New Zealand Defence Force is one organisation that says is celebrating equal opportunities for both men and women.
In a statement released today, the Defence Force says more women than ever are serving overseas for the New Zealand Defence Force in war zones, on peacekeeping missions and other international deployments.
While women make up about 16 per cent of the NZDF's Regular Force, the number overseas is about 20 per cent of the 495 personnel deployed.
That is the highest level since the Human Rights (Women in Armed Forces) Amendment Act 2007 was passed, removing a provision that allowed the Defence Force to restrict women's involvement in combat and other front-line roles.
And as the world celebrates International Women's Day, some of the women serving overseas say the equal opportunities for training and promotion are responsible for the increasing number of women deployed or serving as commanders.
Of the women deployed overseas, some are serving in the Middle East or in war zones like Iraq, while others are on a six-month deployment to the Asia-Pacific region as crew members of the Navy frigate HMNZS Te Kaha and replenishment tanker Endeavour.
“Seeing an increasing number of women in positions of command and on overseas missions is an inspiration to me,” says Able Medic Koryn Berriman, one of three medics on Te Kaha.
Flight Lieutenant Erica Riddle, the Logistics Officer of the NZDF's maritime security operation in the Middle East, says in her 15 years with the NZDF, she has seen opportunities for women improve across the three Services.
“I am proud that I work for an organisation where gender is not a factor in decision-making, training or career progression.”