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New Zealand fares well in gender equality

The PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) ‘Women in Work Index’ (WIWI) placed New Zealand fourth out of a sample of 27 OECD countries in 2012.

The second annual edition of the WIWI, released in March 2014 showed that the Nordic countries remained leaders in this context.

Norway is still at the top (a position it has retained over four consecutive surveys conducted in 2000, 2007, 2011 and 2012, followed by Denmark, Sweden, New Zealand and Finland.

The Netherlands and Ireland have been the most notable risers in the WIWI since last year, both moving up five positions due in particular to narrower gender wage gaps.

Widening gap

The economic crisis continues to take its toll on absolute performance in the southern European countries. Portugal, Spain and Greece saw their gender wage gaps widen and female unemployment increase, which was partly due to their weak economies in recent years

Our historical analysis shows that UK has made some progress in gender equality in the labour market since 2000, but gradually lost ground to other countries, with its relative performance deteriorating from 14th to 18th position between 2000 and 2012.

Female millennial

The Report, titled, ‘Next Generation Diversity: Developing tomorrow’s Female Leaders’ identifies six key themes which are integral to the successful attraction, retention and development of the female millennial.

PWC New Zealand Chief Executive and Senior Partner Bruce Hassall said that the Report complements other research carried out by the firm on the millennial generation.

“It is about fine-tuning to focus on the female part of this generation, helping us to understand better how millennial women can be developed into the leaders of tomorrow. We welcome the PwC Global Report released to mark the International Women’s Day. It focuses on what organisations can do to create the right environment for Gen-Y women to flourish in the workplace,” he said.

Conducive environment

Mr Hassall said that diversity is an important topic and that PwC is a member of Global Women and DiverseNZ Inc, recruiting a rich diversity of talented women every year.

The firm is also keen to promote an environment that will help women succeed.

“Consistent with our profession, we recruit approximately 50/50 male-female graduates. Pipeline at a senior level is a focus for us, and we are looking to accelerate the development of our existing and future leaders, as well as diversify across the generations of our people. Managing succession is critical for our future success; we take it seriously,” he said.

According to Mr Hassall, investment in strengths-based coaching strategy formed the core principle of PwC and that the firm’s staff are at their best in a tough and changing market.

“We need to support our staff so they can achieve their goals and unlock their potential. We recognise the importance of a world-class coaching culture to sustain and grow our business and enable a great people experience,” Mr Hassall said.

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