YWCA Auckland are on the move!


At YWCA Auckland, making responsible financial decisions is always front of mind. In order to ensure every dollar goes as far as possible, we have made the decision to relocate our office premises.
From Monday, 25 August, you will find us at 27 Gillies Avenue, Newmarket. This site was selected based on its central location, public transport options, plenty of visitor parking, and office space more appropriate to the size of our current operation. All of our other contact details will remain the same.

We may be a bit technologically challenged for a few days while the move takes place, so if you need to get hold of one of us, either call our office line on (09) 370 0075 or give us a call on our individual cellphones:

Monica Briggs 021 964 867

Brigette Watkin (Office Manager) 021 0274 7560

Joe Macarthur 021 628 280

Liz Henry 021 146 0860

Marlene Sorby 021 167 7904

Marnie McManus 027 207 5558

Kendal Collins 021 342 773

Saumalu Kali 021 137 2558

Change our $10 note?



We have created a $9 note in place of the $10, especially for women in New Zealand. And in an open letter to the Governor of the Reserve Bank, we ask Graeme Wheeler to remove Kate from the $10 and replace her with a “more fitting” man.

“By reintroducing the late, great Kate Sheppard to Kiwis in this new light, we’re hoping people will look at the issue through a broader lens as we ask them to consider whether we can still call ourselves a socially progressive nation, given the impact this issue is having on our society,” says Sina Wendt-Moore, Co-President, YWCA.

In the New Zealand Income Survey report (June 2013 quarter) the average full-time hourly earnings for a man was $28.33 while the average full-time hourly earnings for a woman was $25.06.

The public perception is that the pay gap between men and women forms when women leave work to have children, when in actual fact, in the private sector, evidence suggests that pay gaps are forming in the first five years of employment, right from graduate level. For instance, the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants surveyed its own sector to discover that male chartered accountants with five years’ experience or less earn $3,605 more on average than their female counterparts.

Our message to employers is universal, encouraging organisations to take a progressive stance and make this issue a priority, whether large or small, in the public or private sector.

Join the debate at #demandequalpay.

View the campaign video here.





Equal Pay Awards – The Winners


We’ve been thrilled with the stories shared through this year’s entries to the inaugural YWCA Equal Pay Awards. This is what the YWCA Equal Pay Awards are truly about. Not just about shining a light on the issue, but also about highlighting the solutions.

There is no better way to do this than by celebrating employers blazing the trail for equal pay in New Zealand, acknowledging them as thought leaders in this space and sharing their stories. We salute you!

Please find the 2014 YWCA Equal Pay Award winners below.

Gold Award – Westpac New Zealand Ltd
Silver Award – Simpson Grierson and SKYCITY Entertainment Group
Bronze Award – BNZ
Highly Commended – New Zealand Defence Force
Special Mention – Downer NZ

The YWCA Equal Pay Awards judging panel were thrilled with the quality of entries received in this first year of the Awards and especially proud to share the success of the winners, who demonstrated rigorous commitment to the equal pay journey within their respective organisations.

Thank you to all those who entered and congratulations to the winners. We look forward to hearing more of your equal pay journeys next year.

Latest newsletter out now….


YWCA Auckland is leading the way in building better futures…..

Please find our latest newsletter here, highlighting:

  •  Latest on YWCA Equal Pay Awards, showcasing and celebrating organizations actively addressing equal pay and entering our inaugural awards system. Winners announced Thursday 10 July.
  • Our social enterprise YWCA Auckland Hostel housing homeless young people, collaborating with Lifewise and Youthline.
  • How you can get involved.

Grads earn less if they are female, study finds


SCCZEN_A_021012NZHRGRUNI05_620x310YWCA Auckland advocates equal pay for equal work, hence why we have created the national inaugural Equal Pay Awards. A NZ Herald article once again highlights why this work is so vitally important, with female graduates earning thousands of dollars less than their male counterparts just five years after graduation.

Read more about the study here.

Equal Pay Awards – Blog Post


Check out Galia BarHava-Monteith’s latest blog post, where she argues that equal pay in New Zealand is the equivalent of modern day suffrage. Her views are discussed in The Herald - Gender pay gap down to ‘subconscious bias’.


YWCA Equal Pay Awards


1st April 2014 – YWCA Auckland is once again shining the spotlight on equal pay, with the national inaugural YWCA Equal Pay Awards, recognising best practice amongst business leaders actively addressing equal pay within their organisations.

Research and statistics report the gender pay gap is still prevalent, with the New Zealand Income Survey (June 2013 quarter) reporting the median full-time hourly earnings for males was $23.67 and $22.34 for females. Therefore, if females were to earn as much as males, the female average income would need to increase by 13%.

More concerning are industry studies. The New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants surveyed its own sector to discover that male chartered accountants with five years’ experience or less earn $3,605 more than their female counterparts, debunking the myth that pay gaps emerge when women start families, typically around 31 years old in New Zealand. This kind of evidence is common within other private sector industries.

The YWCA Equal Pay Awards will acknowledge those on the journey to address equal pay, with the YWCA Auckland inviting corporates and SMEs to share their stories of success, inspiring change for wider business.

Those wishing to enter must demonstrate their initiatives.

In 2012, YWCA Auckland and DDB NZ launched the award-winning, ‘Demand Equal Pay’ campaign, highlighting the fact that men then reportedly earned 10% more than women. The campaign cleverly captured what equal pay looked like in reverse by presenting scenarios where men were asked to pay 10% more for products and services.

The YWCA Equal Pay Awards, however, turns the issue on its head by seeking to recognise businesses who are taking a leadership role in this area.

“Equal pay is still a key focus for our organisation,” says YWCA Auckland CEO Monica Briggs.

“In 2012 we were amazed how few people were aware there was a pay gap at all. Today, the gap is wider still and the social and economic impact of this cannot be ignored.

“While it’s crucial for us to raise awareness through hard-hitting campaigns like ‘Demand Equal Pay’, it’s also vital we work alongside the business community to recognise those organisations who are taking the issue seriously. Many corporates are already engaging the right measures to ensure the pay gap is at least reduced in the short term, with a long term view toward closing it altogether.

“Today, as we launch the YWCA Equal Pay Awards, we are inviting them to come forward and share their outstanding Human Resource, Corporate Social Responsibility and Diversity programmes agendas, so they can be acknowledged as thought leaders and trail blazers for equal pay.

“We are already aware of some outstanding case studies who we’d love to recognise as part of a high profile campaign that will celebrate and acknowledge a short-list of winners announced in June this year,” adds Briggs.

Through the awards programme, YWCA Auckland aims to share best practice initiatives to encourage and inspire other organisations to start the journey. The awards are as much about educating and informing around solutions, than highlighting the problem.

The YWCA Equal Pay Awards will be judged by a first class panel who are experts in their respective Human Resources and consultative fields, with an in depth knowledge of diversity and change management,  gender equality and equal pay in the work place.

Meet the Panel:

  •  Martin King, General Manager Human Resources, Coca-Cola Amatil (NZ) Ltd, leads the Human Resources team of one of the most attractive employers in the country supported by outstanding Diversity & Inclusive Culture policies and management. Martin has been integral to implementing 100% equal pay within the entire CCANZ organisation
  • Galia Barhava-Monteith, director and strategic change consultant of GBM Consulting, specialises in end-to-end delivery of Diversity-enabling strategies in the work place. She is also the Deputy Chair at the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women (NACEW) and the founding director of Professionelle Charitable Foundation, dedicated to addressing the needs of all professional working women in New Zealand
  • Susan Doughty is a Director of dsd Consulting Ltd, specialising in remuneration and reward advice to the NZ market.   Susan is an expert in her field with over 15 year’s specialist experience.  She is a certified Global Remuneration Professional and has just completed a contract as GM – Rewards & Mobility at Fonterra
  • Carolyn Savage is the President of Business & Professional Women New Zealand, an organisation with a history of empowering women since 1939. She is also a Senior Architect of the ECL Group

Says Briggs of the YWCA Equal Pay Awards judges:

“Our outstanding panel could not be more qualified to adjudicate entries for the awards. Throughout the awards programme, we intend to profile excellent insights into equal pay and the solutions and strategies available to address the issue.”

The entry cut-off date is Monday, 26th May, with winners announced on Thursday, 12th June.

To learn more about the YWCA Equal Pay Awards, entry details and criteria, visit www.ywcapayequity.org.nz.

 For more information, panel biographies, images or interview opportunities, please contact:

Media Coverage:

Click here to listen to Vanessa Ceelen, YWCA Auckland President talking to Mike Hosking about the gender pay gap on Newstalk ZB.

Click here to read Susan Doughty’s (Director of dsd Consulting and YWCA Equal Pay Award panellist) top five tips for organisations to get on the equal pay journey.

Thanks Scoop for picking up the press release.

NZ Herald article here on the bigger picture of gender pay gap.

SheSays Blog posts written by the Awards panellists – click here.


Click here for Herald article on gender pay gap.


Mentors make a difference….


Congratulations to everyone who is involved in the Future Leaders programme. The programme was featured in the NZ Herald Weekend section on Saturday, 15th March! The article highlights all of the wonderful work that mentors do, and how the programme is able to help girls build leadership skills, confidence, and resilience. We’re very proud of all of you.

Click here to read article.



Ban Bossy!


A new initiative led by Lean In and Girl Scouts in the US is highlighting the power of the words we use to talk about and to girls. As they say, when a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a “leader.” Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded “bossy.” Words like bossy send a message: don’t raise your hand or speak up. Girls are less interested in leading than boys—a trend that continues into adulthood. Check out this video…


And for more, check out http://banbossy.com/ 

“Life changing” experience at Outward Bound


Many who attend an Outward Bound programme at Anakiwa come away saying how much it has changed their lives. MacAuley High School student Lose Halatoa is lucky enough to have been part of two life changing programmes – Outward Bound, and YWCA Auckland Future Leaders, a mentoring programme for girls at secondary school, and the programme that made it possible for her to then attend Outward Bound.

2nd group photo

Since joining the Future Leaders programme four years ago in Year 10, Lose has had two mentors, women who have given up their time and energy to help mould Lose into the confident young woman she is today. The mentor she had for the last year and a half, Kelly Davis, is “just awesome” and she says that the Future Leaders team has become like a family. “When I lost my mum last year, everyone helped so much. The YWCA Auckland team, the other girls, they would sit with me and let me talk about Mum,” says Lose.

Being part of Future Leaders also gave Lose the chance to go to Outward Bound this year. “There were 14 scholarships for Outward Bound available from YWCA, and I’d heard so much about it from other people that I had to jump at the offer. I was just so pumped to actually go,” says Lose. Lose made up part of the second ever all-female watch, an initiative created by YWCA and Outward Bound to help empower young women. “Some of the girls in the other watches were jealous, with all girls we got to go at our own pace. It was really great,” says Lose.

Surprising herself with what she could do physically, including lots of push-ups and a half marathon, she discovered that giving up or achieving your goals is “all in the mind.” Lose says that it was the mental and emotional side, rather than the physical activity, that made a real difference. “I always thought Outward Bound was just physical, but it saved me. After I lost my mum last year I was in a really bad place, but this gave me space to think and re-prioritise.” She credits Future Leaders for preparing her for the experience, as well as giving her the opportunity to take on the challenges of Outward Bound.

YWCA Auckland believe in empowering young women to maximise their potential throughout life. With this in mind, the Future Leaders programme was created to provide young women with skills development, new experiences and opportunities to support them in achieving their goals. This individualised leadership programme sees a young woman paired with a mentor, with activities and workshops planned throughout the year by YWCA Auckland. These include an Annual Leadership Forum, camps, creative and physical activities and workshops around goal setting, motivation, public speaking, confidence and more.

“I wish everyone could be a part of Future Leaders, and everyone should do Outward Bound. Words can’t express how grateful I am for both the programmes,” shares Lose. She is now preparing to go down to Otago University, where she is hoping to study medicine – a choice very much inspired by her mother.

As well as the benefits to young women in the YWCA Auckland Future Leaders programme, there is the ‘feel good’ factor for mentors also. Mentors can be any women over the age of 25, who are asked to make at least a two year commitment to their mentee. The mentor acts as a friend and trusted guide, checking in with their young woman fortnightly and meeting once a month face-to-face.

Applications are open now to become a YWCA Auckland Future Leaders mentor for the new intakes of students in 2014.

To apply or learn more, contact Marnie McManus at admin@akywca.org.nz or on 09 370 0113, or visit the YWCA Auckland website www.akywca.org.nz.

YWCA Auckland programmes receive generous support from...
  • ASB Community Trust
  • Vodafone Foundation New Zealand

    Gaurdian Trust
  • The trusts charitable foundation

    Breast Cancer Foundation
  • Skycity Auckland Community Trust

YWCA of Auckland New Zealand

+64 9 370 0075