Where women are paid the most

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Women in min­ing and forestry are out-earn­ing their male coun­ter­parts, al­though they are a smaller part of both in­dus­tries.

Statistics NZ data shows that the high­est wages for women in the March 2017 quar­ter were in oil and gas ex­trac­tion jobs, where they re­ceived a me­dian income of just un­der $20,000 in the three months.

That was fol­lowed by life in­sur­ance roles, where women earned $17,710 in the quar­ter, and com­puter sys­tem de­sign and re­lated ser­vices, where they earned $17,310.

Econ­o­mist Mieke Wel­vaert said some of the in­dus­tries were high-pay­ers over­all. ‘‘Also, it is pos­si­ble that women take up a big­ger share of higher-pay­ing roles in some of these in­dus­tries.’’

‘‘If you were a man­ager work­ing for a pulp, pa­per and pa­per­board man­u­fac­tur­ing firm I’d sus­pect you get paid more than a worker on the man­u­fac­tur­ing floor.

‘‘More women man­agers would push av­er­ages for the in­dus­try up.’’

Stats NZ fig­ures also show that min­ing and forestry are the only New Zealand sec­tors where the me­dian wage for women has usu­ally ex­ceeded the me­dian for men.

Therese Sin­gle­ton, AMP’s gen­eral man­ager of ad­vice and sales in New Zealand, said her firm had no­ticed an in­creas­ing num­ber of young women en­ter­ing fi­nan­cial ser­vices, in­clud­ing as in­sur­ance ad­vis­ers.

‘‘[Many say] they are seek­ing the work-life bal­ance and other ben­e­fits that a ca­reer in fi­nan­cial ad­vice might of­fer them. Still the num­bers are low, but it’s a good sign for the in­dus­try and New Zealan­ders that more women see value in a ca­reer as a fi­nan­cial ad­viser.’’

As­so­ciate pro­fes­sor Alex Sims, from the Univer­sity of Auck­land Busi­ness School’s com­mer­cial law de­part­ment, warned that oc­cu­pa­tions where women were paid more were some­times held up as an ex­am­ple by those who wanted to claim there were no is­sues with a gen­der pay gap.

‘‘Just be­cause for some oc­cu­pa­tions women were paid more does not make it okay for the vast ma­jor­ity of men to be paid more.’’

Aus­tralian re­search showed that when women were in a male-dom­i­nated in­dus­try, they tended to be over­achiev­ers and to earn more than the men.

Women work­ing in pri­vate house­holds em­ploy­ing staff earned the least.


Statistics NZ data shows that women earned the most in the March 2017 quar­ter in oil and gas ex­trac­tion jobs, where they re­ceived a me­dian of just un­der $20,000 over the three months.

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