WorldSkills announced on 1 March that the organisation endorses HeForShe – a solidarity movement for gender equality led by the United Nations.
WorldSkills New Zealand supports this vital push for gender equality in vocational education and skilled professions.
In line with this and in commemoration of the International Women’s Day on 8 March 2017, WorldSkills has begun profiling a series of women working in skills and encourage people from around the world to take the HeForShe pledge.
Among the young women featured is a member of the NZ Skills Team, car painter Alex Banks. She shares her struggle in getting a job in a traditionally male-dominated industry. Alex also talks about her career goals and her dreams of helping other women achieve their dreams. The full article can be read by clicking here.
WorldSkills, as a global movement that promotes access to vocational skills, believes that skills have no gender and that it is time that inequality in the workplace is eradicated.
Likewise, governments around the world must do more to remove inequality in the workplace. Recent analysis by the World Economic Forum showed that there are considerable gaps between female and male access to economic resources and opportunities. The degree of these inequalities varies from country-to-country, but wherever they live, women consistently earn less, have fewer jobs.
According to the Ministry for Women, here in New Zealand, the workforce participation rate for women is currently at 64.72 percent (March 2015). Men’s participation in the labour force rate is 75 percent. The ministry also notes that the female unemployment rate is higher than that of men (6.3 percent compared with 5.4 percent for men, as at March 2015). Unfortunately, the unemployment rate is highest for Māori and Pacific women.
The country’s gender pay gap is its consistently one of the lowest in the world when comparing full time workers. The gender pay gap is 12 percent (2016). A gender pay gap means women’s hourly rates remain behind that of men’s. Thus, women in New Zealand are doing far more unpaid work than men. About 63 percent of women’s work is unpaid and 35 percent of men’s work is unpaid.