Women in the accounting profession are paid an average of $ 60,000 less than men in New Zealand, according to a survey of chartered accountants.
Female accountants on both sides of Tasmania were paid 40 to 50 percent less than male accountants, according to the March survey of more than 4,500 members of Australian and New Zealand chartered accountants.
“This investigation has revealed uncomfortable truths,” the organization’s chief executive, Ainslie van Onselen, said in a statement on Tuesday.
“As accountants, we trust the numbers, and although our profession is well paid, those numbers paint a difficult picture for women in accounting throughout their careers.”
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Men held most of the managerial positions in the industry. However, the pay gap existed within the same groups of contributing factors, such as years of experience, hours worked and location.
According to the survey, men and women had different perceptions of the gender pay gap, with almost seven in ten women believing it to exist, compared to three in ten men who agreed.
“This disconnect suggests that more work needs to be done to change the perception of the pay gap in the industry, as nearly 70 percent of men surveyed don’t believe this problem exists,” van Onselen said.
“These results are incredibly disappointing and without change we fail to recognize the equal work women do in our profession.”
Women made more career sacrifices for their families, with nearly 50 percent of female accountants taking time off from their careers to care for parents or others, compared to 20 percent of men.
The average career break was almost two years, with most women feeling it had a significant impact on their work opportunities.
“This is where direct actions such as introducing flexible labor policies are important. They have been proven to ensure advancement to leadership positions for women and reduce the gender pay gap, ”she said.
Companies could help reduce the gender pay gap by having greater pay transparency, annual reports analyzing the pay gap, and senior managers focused on change.
According to the survey, average pay in New Zealand was NZ $ 149,256, up 5% from the previous year, including a bonus of $ 10,600.
In Australia, average earnings were AU $ 166,488, up 4.5%.