Upston: Gender pay gap increase 'disappointing'
The Government has acknowledged a "disappointing" increase in the gender pay gap.
Minister for Women Louise Upston says the latest income survey, released today, shows the pay gap is now 11.8 percent, up from 9.9 percent last year.
"While it's been encouraging to see a downward trend in gender pay gap figures over the past 17 years, it's disappointing to see this increase," she said.
"There shouldn't be a difference in the average salaries of men and women in this country, and what this increase shows is we still have work to do to ensure women are paid fairly for their skills."
The Greens say it's the Government's fault.
"Women are literally paying the price for National's do-nothing approach to the gender pay gap," said Jan Logie.
"The Government should be leading the way because the gender pay gap in the public service is huge, but no ministry is willing to be responsible for fixing the problem."
The Pay Equity Coalition says the Government knows there are key actions it should take.
"They would rather hide behind the excuse that it's too complicated and 'we're working on it' doesn't wash anymore," said spokeswoman Angela McLeod.
"Women are sick of waiting patiently for equal pay."
Ms Upston says workers, employers, career advisers and business leaders need to take action.
"Women should be encouraged into fields where they have been traditionally under-represented," she said.
"Many of these areas, such as technology, construction and trades are experiencing high growth and high wages."