Five of New Zealand’s most eminent businesswomen have joined forces in the push for pay equity, urging others to also fight for change.
Spark chair Justine Smyth, Kiwi business personality Theresa Gattung, insurance industry stalwart Naomi Ballantyne, DLA Piper partner Tracey Cross and Deloitte partner Linda Meade have all come together to be part of the Journey to Excellence forum.
To be held on Friday 16th February, the event comes on the back of Westpac’s recent Diversity Dividend Report, conducted by Deloitte and released late last year.
While the report reinforced that there is a dearth of women at senior levels of management and on boards, it also threw up alarm bells from an economic standpoint, suggesting that unequal gender representation in leadership could be costing the New Zealand economy a staggering $881million.
Perhaps even more concerning was that, of the companies surveyed, only one in four thought that would reach gender parity in leadership within five years.
“The research on gender diversity in our workplaces – particularly at senior leadership level – is totally clear: it improves decision-making and ultimately improves organisational outcomes,” says Spark’s Justine Smyth.
“The time has come to move from talk to action on this and so I’m very much looking forward to joining this passionate panel of women, to work with everyone in the room and come up with some practical solutions,” she added.
DLA Piper’s Tracey Cross agreed – “While the benefits are known, many of our organisations are slow to act,” she said. “We all have an important part to play with the ‘Journey to Excellence’ event, it’s an opportunity to learn from each other.”