Employer behaviour and reluctance to change are being blamed for New Zealand's continuing gender pay gap.
The latest data from Stats NZ shows the median hourly rate for men was $29 compared to $26.37 for women - a gender pay gap of 9.1 per cent that had seen minimal movement in the past five years.
In some professions, it was much higher. A remuneration survey completed last year by the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand revealed there was a gender pay gap of about $50,000 and $60,000 respectively in both countries.
The report which was based on 4517 responses said the key reasons cited were women's carer responsibilities for children or the elderly followed by the fact senior positions were mostly filled by men.
''Employers choose who they recruit, who they promote, who they pay what, and who gets what opportunities.''
That was the view of Mind the Gap co-founder Jo Cribb who said the gender pay gap would stay "stuck" unless there was change.
''That seems like a pretty poor legacy to pass on to our young people. Like, why would you do that?''
She said research it had conducted showed the gender pay gap was less about individuals and more about organisations.
''Say 20 years ago, we could have said women are less educated, there weren't as many women with university degrees, they're not working or there are not as many in the workforce doing senior roles so that is why there was a gender pay gap.
''But today it's not true. Now it is much more generated by the behaviour that happens within organisations.''
Mind the Gap was advocating for gender pay gap reporting similar to its own website which had a voluntarily online registry for employers who had more than 50 staff to publish information on pay gaps.
The Parliament's Education and Workforce select committee met in March to discuss pay transparency and a "comprehensive pay transparency regime" that would require action by employers above a certain size to address inequities.
Cribb said many countries already had pay gap reporting in place which had made a difference.
She said its research showed forcing New Zealand employers to follow suit could cut unexplained parities in pay by 20 to 40 per cent and increase the average woman's weekly pay by about $35 a week.
''That's how much it's costing us by not having this legislation in place. Families need this money and it's a simple change.''
Canterbury Associate Professor Ann Brower said although the sizeable pay gap was improving, it was not disappearing fast enough.
A 2019 study she was involved in revealed female academics at universities would be paid $400,000 less than their male counterparts throughout their career.
Her latest analysis of tens of thousands of data points representing thousands of university lecturers still shows an unmistakable pattern where men get paid more than women in the same age and research score.
''It's not maybe, they are.''
She said the three key drivers to change were hiring patterns and practices, promotion patterns and practices, and attribution patterns.
''Of the three we are finding hiring patterns appear the most powerful and the most impactful ones to change. Hiring patterns create a sticky floor where women and men are hired at different rungs on the ladder affecting them throughout their career.''
Minister for Women Jan Tinetti said there shouldn't be pay discrimination for any reason.
She said the Government was actively working to find multiple levers to try and fix the problem.
''It's a hard nut to crack. Kate Sheppard had identified equal pay as the next challenge she wanted to work on after securing the vote for women almost 129 years ago.''
Officials from the Ministry for Women and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment are actively working together on the recommendations from the select committee, she said.
Next month Tinetti was launching New Zealand's first-ever Women's Employment Action Plan which was specifically targeted at improving work for women. She would release more details at a later date.
As a teacher and principal Tinetti said she was always a member of the union NZEI which included everyone's salaries, allowances and leave entitlements.
''So yes, I knew what my male colleagues were being paid. Collective employment agreements are another mechanism to provide pay transparency – I would encourage everyone to join their union.''
Foodstuffs NZ head of co-operative public relations Emma Wooster said it reported its pay gap progress through its CSR Report and initiatives like Mind The Gap.
''We're constantly looking at ways to build a more inclusive culture at Foodstuffs and making progress toward our gender pay gap goals is an important part of this.
''For example, our remuneration framework at Foodstuffs North Island includes guidelines and a banding system to ensure consistency of pay across roles of a similar level, and gender paychecks have been built into our annual remuneration review processes.''