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NZ business leaders to judge NZ’s fairest employers

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

14 August 2019 - 18 senior business leaders and employment experts have been appointed as judges for New Zealand’s sixth annual Equal Pay Awards reflecting the breadth of companies who have entered. The Awards added three new categories in 2018: Innovation, Community and Champion providing a platform for Not-For-Profits and Individuals to be recognised for their work in closing the gender pay gap. Each organisational category includes a high-level gender analysis of the whole organisation which provides standardised data analysis for judging purposes.

Chief Executive of YWCA Auckland, Dellwyn Stuart, says that the growth in entries from the expanded Awards categories last year inspired the selection of judges for 2019. "Having more community organisations enter and a greater diversity of industries now addressing equal pay has highlighted the need for specialist knowledge of the challenges these entrants face" she says. "We have appointed judges from companies such as Passphere, Callaghan Innovation and FINZ who can provide insights about different sectors as well as their own experiences creating a fairer workplace," she adds.

The hardest part of effecting organisational change is sizing the problem so you can start to address it. Head of Communications and Education for Simplicity Kiwisaver, Amanda Morrall, has joined the judging panel for the On the Journey Award with AUT Vice-Chancellor, Dr Andrea Vujnovich, and Strategic Pay’s, Northern General Manager, Michelle Gapes.

Chief Executive of the EMA, Brett O’Riley and Callaghan Innovation Head of People and Capability, Esther Livingston will join Company Director, Rob Campbell judging the Innovation Award. This category recognises organisations who have taken a bespoke or experimental approach to closing their gender pay gap.

The Community Award acknowledges that profit-for-purpose or not-for-profit organisations have unique pay challenges compared to the private sector. This year two new judges will assess the award. They are experienced Governance Lead and Director of Change the Narrative, Sally Morrison and the CEO of the Fundraising Institute of New Zealand (FINZ), Michelle Berriman who join RemNet Committee Member and Chief People Officer of Volpara Health Technologies, Kathryn Greene.

The Progressive Award commends firms who have demonstrated their commitment to Equal Pay in their workplace and continue to make sustained advances and improvements to address the issue. CEO of the Institute of Directors, Kirsten (KP) Patterson and Susan Lowe, General Manager People and Culture at Coca Cola Amatil are joined by a new judge, Performance and Reward Specialist, Helene Higbee.

Annamarie Jamieson, People and Culture Director at Stuff has been appointed to judge the Leadership Award with Martin King, Owner and Director at South Pacific Pride Ltd and Claire Walker, Chief People and Culture Officer at Sky City Entertainment Ltd. This award celebrates companies who understand the benefits of workplace gender equality and are leading the way for others to follow. The 2018 winner was Vodafone New Zealand.

The 2018 Equal Pay Awards recognised former Human Rights Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue as an outstanding individual who moved the gender pay gap conversation forward. The Champion Award is free to enter and individuals can nominate themselves. All submissions for this award will be judged by Chief Executive of the Ministry for Women, Renee Graham, with ANZLF Indigenous Business Co-Chair, Traci Houpapa and one of the country’s youngest tech entrepreneurs Ezel Kokcu of Passphere.

Dellwyn Stuart says that with three weeks to go until entries close on September 6th that there is plenty of time to enter. She says that the data required is readily available in most organisations and the online entry process is simple and easy to navigate. "Previous winners and finalists have told us that they learned so much from the judges feedback and through sharing their experience with other companies. You don’t have to have closed your gender pay gap to be an award winner but you should be able to show that you are on your way " she says.

Entries for the YWCA Equal Pay Awards close on Friday, 6th September 2019. Finalists will be announced on October 16th and the winners recognised at a celebratory event on November 12th in Auckland.

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