Enabling women’s potential: the social, economic and ethical imperative

Enabling women’s potential – the social, economic and ethical imperative – a white paper produced by the National Council of Women of New Zealand – aims to build understanding and spark action for gender equality.

Gender inequality persists in all aspects of our society. It negatively impacts businesses, our economy, families and the community, as well as individuals.

Gender is still a barrier to many people having the freedom and opportunity to determine their own future.

This is evident in –

  • Women achieve 61 per cent of the tertiary qualifications but they are often for lower paid industries than tertiary qualified men.
  • Estimates of our gender pay gap range from women being paid 11.8 per cent to 14 per cent less.
  • Only 14 per cent of directors on NZX 100 top companies are women. Nearly 42 per cent of public sector directors are female.
  • One in four women experience intimate partner violence or sexual violence in their lifetime.

The paper identifies five prerequisites to a gender equal New Zealand. This includes forming a shared understanding of the issues, creating a gender positive culture and ensuring we have leadership and governance, structural equality and data and monitoring in place.

It outlines 12 actions we can all take to progress these prerequisites. This includes speaking out against sexism, ensuring we have the right policies in place and  encouraging leaders to champion gender equality within their sectors, industries, communities and families.

NCWNZ aims to spur more New Zealanders into action so we can take a big step forward for equality.

Download the white paper (PDF) and the key information booklet (PDF).