Kōrero: Gender inequalities

Unequal pay

The women shown in this 1950s photograph of bank staff were on a separate salary scale to the men they worked alongside. The arguments used to justify separate scales were men's need to support a family, their supposed greater fitness for paid work, and the different tasks they carried out. Women could never earn more than the maximum their salary scale allowed, no matter what work they did, how good they were at it, how useful they were to their employer or the family responsibilities they had. In 1971, for example, the maximum income a woman could earn in the banking industry was $2,642 ($32,830 in 2010 terms), while the maximum a man could earn was $3,811 ($47,356 in 2010).

When private-sector equal pay was introduced in the mid-1970s, women's pay continued to be lower than that of men. Until they gained equal opportunity to move into the higher-paid positions that only men had been allowed to hold, women were trapped in lower-paid work. The invisible barrier that held women back became known as the 'glass ceiling'.

Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi

Westpac New Zealand Archive

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

Ngā whakaahua me ngā rauemi katoa o tēnei kōrero

Te tuhi tohutoro mō tēnei whārangi:

Anne Else, 'Gender inequalities - Paid employment', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/mi/zoomify/32760/unequal-pay (accessed 6 July 2020)

He kōrero nā Anne Else, i tāngia i te 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 20 Jun 2018