100s of titles, one news app for just $10 a month.
Dive Deeper:
Surprise survey: Gender pay gap worsening on boards of directors
The fee differential between men and women on company boards has widened in the past year, and one reason is the…
Most directors think 'equity' is what you buy on the stock exchange
There's no substantive research showing better-paid directors deliver better outcomes, so we should pursue more diversity at board tables and effective…
Women more likely to fill jobs in lowest salary ranges – study
Companies that committed to a pledge to support diversity in the workforce have significantly more woman in top jobs than…
Congressional Democrats urge Dallas Fed to select a Latino for president
Twenty-two Democratic members of Congress are urging the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas to appoint the first Latino regional president…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
‘No reward or recognition’: why women should say no to ‘office housework’
Accepting too many necessary yet thankless tasks is holding all women back, say the authors of The No Club
Half of older women fear having to work beyond UK state pension age – study
Survey underlines lasting impact that career breaks or working part-time can have on payouts
Get all your news in one place
Latest Comment news:
Trip to Madrid shows that living in a high-density suburb can deliver a good life
Creating good high-density urban liveability is all in the delivery
Read news from The Economist, FT, Bloomberg and more, with one subscription
Learn More
Labor now has the chance to act with gusto on climate policy
Australia needs a far more ambitious agenda than the one Anthony Albanese took to the election
For the sake of his party, Tudge must go, and quickly
Alan Tudge should leave politics and allow Josh Frydenberg to take his seat. His party needs it and the nation…
Australia’s Big Lie (from the right): Morrison went too far left
No one who lost a seat this election did so to a more right-wing candidate. But key conservatives are claiming…
The Liberals’ anti-China rhetoric cost them votes and, likely, key seats
The Coalition’s gamble with its ‘China threat’ stance backfired spectacularly. The question now remains, will Labor prove worthy of the…
From analysis to good news, read the world’s best news in one place
No more predator press: Australian media must ‘sack the pack’ and start providing actual news
This election had many lessons to bestow — not least upon the national media, which needs to take on board…
Labor in gain
Good morning, early birds. The Liberals are set to lose all seats in Adelaide and Perth and all but one…

Time for mandatory 50/50 gender quotas on boards

By Julie Hardaker
As Mayor of Hamilton, Julie Hardaker honoured the first women to sit around that city's top boardroom table: Dame Hilda Ross, Dorothy Blomfield, Doris Menzies, and Hamilton's first woman mayor Nora Braithwaite. Photo: Hamilton City Council

Unfortunately there are still attitudes about gender and diversity that create barriers to women taking up board roles, writes Julie Hardaker

Opinion: Strategic Pay's 2022 survey of public and private sector directors pay reports the gap between men and women directors has increased to 22 percent and is up to 23 percent for chairs – from 12 percent in the previous year.

These are startling results. Surely the gender pay gap isn’t going backwards.

There are several issues at play here; the significant difference between the public and private sectors when it comes to gender representation as directors and chairs, and the static position of lower pay for public sector directors and chairs.

READ MORE:
► Surprise survey: Boards of directors going backwards on diversity
► Rob Campbell: Directors think 'equity' is what you buy on the sharemarket

There has been considerable advancement in gender equality on public sector boards and committees. The Ministry for Women’s 2020 public sector stocktake recorded female representation had reached 50.9 percent.

As at December 2020 women held 1,314 of the 2,579 roles. And out of the 478 new appointments made in the public sector during 2020, 263 of them were women. The stocktake also recorded 40 percent of chairs are women, up from 34.5 percent in 2018.

Private sector boards are not achieving the same results. While gender balance is improving, it is at a considerably slower pace, some would say a glacial pace. The Strategic Pay survey reports private sector female representation on boards sits at 30% in 2022, which is considerably lower than the public sector.

The New Zealand Stock Exchange diversity reporting to September 2021 shows overall 24.5 percent of directors were female. With the S&P/NZX50 showing steady improvement each year at 32.9 percent, the goal is to reach 40 percent by 2026.

Pay for directors and chairs in the public sector has remained generally static in the last few years and is lower paid that the private sector, in some cases considerably lower. Covid-19 has also influenced the willingness to increase directors pay.

Women have greater representation on boards and in chair roles in the public sector compared to the private sector, where the pay is lower.

When women are equally represented on private sector boards and in chair roles, these pay gaps should disappear.

The answer is more women on private sector boards where the pay is higher.

Entry barriers to private sector boards still exist for women, and much more so for women with ethnic backgrounds. Unfortunately there are also still attitudes from some about gender and diversity that create barriers and discourage women from taking up board roles.

Capable and talented women can be overlooked when we know there is enormous value added to the performance of boards by having gender diversity at the board table.

The Deloitte Global Women in the Boardroom: A global perspective report which includes information on New Zealand boards up to 2021, found that the world could expect to reach near to board gender parity in 2045, more than 20 years from now.

There is no mandatory requirement for boards to have gender or diversity balance, or to report on this. Something to think about.

What is inkl?
The world’s most important news, from 100+ trusted global sources, in one place.
Morning Edition
Your daily
news overview

Morning Edition ensures you start your day well informed.

No paywalls, no clickbait, no ads
Enjoy beautiful reading

Content is only half the story. The world's best news experience is free from distraction: ad-free, clickbait-free, and beautifully designed.

Expert Curation
The news you need to know

Stories are ranked by proprietary algorithms based on importance and curated by real news journalists to ensure that you receive the most important stories as they break.

Dive Deeper:
Surprise survey: Gender pay gap worsening on boards of directors
The fee differential between men and women on company boards has widened in the past year, and one reason is the…
Most directors think 'equity' is what you buy on the stock exchange
There's no substantive research showing better-paid directors deliver better outcomes, so we should pursue more diversity at board tables and effective…
Women more likely to fill jobs in lowest salary ranges – study
Companies that committed to a pledge to support diversity in the workforce have significantly more woman in top jobs than…
Congressional Democrats urge Dallas Fed to select a Latino for president
Twenty-two Democratic members of Congress are urging the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas to appoint the first Latino regional president…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
‘No reward or recognition’: why women should say no to ‘office housework’
Accepting too many necessary yet thankless tasks is holding all women back, say the authors of The No Club
Half of older women fear having to work beyond UK state pension age – study
Survey underlines lasting impact that career breaks or working part-time can have on payouts
Get all your news in one place