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Lecturer hopes to shock her audience into action

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Helen-Roberts-image
Dr Helen Roberts is hoping her Kate Talk on Wednesday night will ignite the conversation about pay equity in New Zealand.

Helen Roberts expects the audience will be shocked when she delivers her Kate Talk on pay equity at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum tomorrow.

A senior lecturer in Accountancy and Finance, Dr Roberts is one of five invited guests to take part in the talks commemorating the day women in New Zealand first voted in the 1893 general election.

“I don’t think people actually realise how big the gender pay gap is. I’m surprised by the statistics and I’m sure other people will be as well. As a nation, we should be concerned.”

"That means that the average New Zealand woman will have to work for an additional 5.25 weeks of 2019 to catch up to the average New Zealand man’s earnings for 2018."

According to the 2018 New Zealand Statistics Income Survey, the median hourly earnings for females was $23.75, compared with $26.15 for males.

“That means that the average New Zealand woman will have to work for an additional 5.25 weeks of 2019 to catch up to the average New Zealand man’s earnings for 2018,” Dr Roberts says.

While pay equity is the topic of Dr Robert’s own research, tomorrow’s talk will draw inspiration from former BBC journalist Carrie Gracie, who resigned from her job this year in protest against a pay gap of more than 50 per cent.

Such a significant pay gap is an example of how managers judge women’s work as being worth less than men’s, she says.

Tomorrow will be the first public appearance for Dr Roberts where she is addressing this issue.

“I think it’s important to raise awareness about this issue, people need to know about this. This is a great way to raise that awareness and hopefully start the conversation.”

The Kate Talks will be held at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum tomorrow night from 5.30pm. Registrations are essential and can be made on 477 4000.