'Significant' gender income gap found in study

Last updated 16:21 08/03/2010

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A new study of graduates with bachelor degrees has revealed that men start earning more than women a year after starting work.

Women's Affairs Minister Pansy Wong said today her ministry's study used data from Inland Revenue and looked at the difference between the income of male and female graduates between one and five years after they started their employment.

The pay gap started developing from the first year, and after five years it ranged between 1 percent and 20 percent, with the biggest difference in management and commerce.

"While the income gap varies between different fields of study, no matter what area of study is pursued an income gap has emerged between men and women ... and it is quite a significant gap," Ms Wong said.

"The bottom line is that a bachelor's degree held by a woman should be worth the same in the marketplace as one held by a man."

The ministry was using the extra $2 million it was being given over four years to increase its ability to address the gender pay gap, she said.

Part of this would be the ministry working with universities to recruit up to 6000 students graduating this year who would be tracked over the next 10 years.

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- NZPA

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