From left, McAuley High School head prefect Theresa Niulevaea, Silver Fern Mila Reuelu-Buchanan, ANZ NZ CEO Antonia Watson, McAuley High School deputy principal Vanessa Langi, and Silver Ferns Elle Temu and Maia Wilson at the launch of the Watch Wāhine Win report in Tāmaki Makurau Auckland last week.
Employers are urged to be more supportive to help Māori and Pasifika women achieve career success in Aotearoa.
New research on gender equity in the workplace has found that Generation Z is the most ambitious and “the stigma around age the greater barrier to career development than ethnicity or gender”.
“Some women felt the biggest barrier was attitude as their upbringing had not set them up to aim high or have a clear direction for their future,” the survey showed.
The Watch Wāhine Win report, the second in a series of research by Talbot Mills, also revealed that 44% of women surveyed were concerned that New Zealand was “on the wrong track”.
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More than half of the participants said they expected the economy and their personal finances to worsen.
Generation Z is made up of people born from the mid-to-late 1990s to the early 2010s while Gen X includes those born between 1965 and 1981.
David Boyle discusses women’s financial confidence. (First published February 23, 2023.)
More than 2000 people participated in the survey launched at McAuley High School in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland on April 6.
Several Silver Ferns players and Labour MP Jenny Salesa attended the event.
The ANZ Bank, which commissioned the research, said the findings would benefit both the employer and employee. Its chief executive, Antonia Watson, who also attended the launch, said the report would help “better understand the factors that help Kiwi women succeed”.
The report also showed there was a strong push for more Kiwis to advance in the workplace, with Pasifika (65%) and Māori (57%), Gen Z (55%) and Millennial (54%) workers more ambitious than Gen X (38%) and Baby Boomers (27%).
The research found there were several barriers Kiwis faced, with the majority citing “business structure” as a key barrier, followed by “not worth the hassle”, “being focused on other things”, “confidence” and “lack of management support”.
A young Māori woman, who participated in the study but did not want to be named, said she was “quietly” studying without her boss’s knowledge.
“My boss is not aware because I know that he is not the type of person that will help me to achieve this. So, I will quietly study on the side without his knowledge.”
Catherine Emerson is the head of strategy at Kernel Wealth, but she said “there’s obviously no way I would have been a senior member of staff at an investment firm 130 or even 50 years ago.
“The progress we’ve made is incredible but let’s not sugar coat it – we’ve still got a lot of work to do in the workplace.”
Less than a third of senior management roles are filled by women and 10% of businesses don’t have a single woman at executive level, according to Grant Thornton’s 2022 Women in Business report.
“The gender pay gap still exists and is much wider for Māori and Pasifika women,” Emerson said.
Watson said participants noted that more advancement opportunities and more education and training were what employers could do to help women succeed.
“Another important factor of women’s success at work is having a role model they can aspire to,” she said.
“In our research report, 15% of men and women told us they can’t see themselves in a senior position. It highlights the importance of us showcasing the incredible achievements being made every day by women and girls across New Zealand.”
Of the 2171 people surveyed, 1484 identified as female and 682 as male – 688 Māori, 420 Pasifika, 669 Asian and 489 identified as other.