Kiwi HR sector coined the “Pink Ghetto”

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New Zealand’s HR sector has found itself at the centre of an incredibly self-critical survey which calls pay parity into question and casts doubt over the industry’s gender equity.

Conducted by the Human Resources Institute of New Zealand, the survey saw almost 3,000 HR professionals share their views with the vast majority pointing to gender as a major ongoing issue.

An overwhelming 84 per cent of respondents said they felt the field was overrepresented by women and stressed that more needed to be done to attract men to the field.

Specifically, one outspoken respondent coined the country’s HR industry as “the Pink Ghetto” where “talented females within a corporate environment seem to cluster.”

Despite the push to attract more men, most respondents signaled a clear hierarchical imbalance with 83 per cent agreeing there are fewer females in the most senior positions.

Disappointingly, skewed representation isn’t the only issue as 43 per cent of respondents said they felt male HR professionals were paid more than their female counterparts by a 10 per cent or $10,000 average.

According to HRINZ, one respondent remarked that they had seen situations where an organisation would attempt to hire a new employee for the lowest price possible.

“Often a female candidate may show a lower level of confidence which translates into a financial difference,” they explained.

Chris Till, chief executive of HRINZ, said the findings painted a very clear picture of New Zealand workplaces, which still have “significant work to do” to improve the earning opportunities for women.

“Removing prejudice and unconscious bias that human resources is somehow ‘women’s’ work and should be treated as such is a start, but ensuring that a job held by any person, regardless of their gender, culture, religion, gender identity and other dimensions should be paid on an equal pay for equal work basis is essential in any fair society,” he stressed.

Do you think New Zealand's HR industry is overrepresented by women? Share your view below.

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