YWCA Auckland is part of the world’s largest women’s organisation, a global network of 25 million women leading social and economic change in over 120 countries worldwide.

A charitable organisation, we have a proud heritage of providing free community programmes for over 130 years. If your organisation would like to contribute towards these the life-changing community programmes, please visit our website here to donate –  www.akywca.org.nz.

YWCA Auckland’s vision of giving women the opportunity to realise a better future is lived out through its successful programmes. These programmes explore issues such as financial literacy and economic independence, as well as equipping participants with leadership skills, confidence, and resilience.

For the last four years, the focus of our advocacy has been Equal Pay in New Zealand. Today women are still paid 14% less than men (New Zealand Income Survey: June 2015 quarter). This presents a cause for action and we’re calling for a fairer future.

What we are doing

The inaugural YWCA Equal Pay Awards were launched in 2014, recognising best practice among business leaders who are on the journey toward equal pay.

As Susan Doughty, YWCA Board Chair, says, “This is not purely a female issue – society as a whole needs to take this issue seriously. Fair and equitable pay rates  means more females are able to enter and contribute to the workforce creating a  valuable labour pool, a higher overall income is achieved benefiting the family, the  economy and society as a whole.”

Equal pay organisations benefit too, attracting talent by being an employer of choice,  enjoying an enhanced corporate reputation and unleashing the economic potential of  their female workforce.

Our Supporters

Julie Anne Genter

Minister of Women, Assoc. Minister of Health, Assoc. Minister of Transport


Growing up in Los Angeles made Julie Anne recognise early in life that transport and urban design have a profound impact on the way we live.

She graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA and studied Politics at the prestigious Sciences Po Paris, before moving to New Zealand as a scholar at the University of Auckland, where she gained a Masters of Planning Practice with First Class Honours.  She went on to work as a transport consultant at some of New Zealand's leading firms, undertaking ground-breaking research in transport economics and urban design.

Julie Anne became involved with the Green Party soon after arriving in New Zealand - it was obvious that the Greens shared her vision for creating sustainable communities designed to serve everyone.  She worked as a political and media advisor at Parliament before becoming an MP in 2011.

Since then Julie Anne has been leading the calls in Parliament for policy that gives people transport choices and embraces the principles of efficient and resilient towns and cities.

Her pragmatic outlook is a breath of fresh air for the transport conversation in New Zealand. She knows that the answers lie in local and central government policies that give people better options.

Sandie Gusscott

Equal Pay Awards Ambassador (M Ed (Ed Mgt) Hons, Dip Sci Ed, TTC


Sandie Gusscott is an independent director with a background in education and business. She has been General Manager Education at Auckland UniServices Limited and more recently Acting CEO at WaterSafe Auckland.  Sandie is a member of the Institute of Directors and her governance roles include Director at WaterSafe Auckland since 2014 and Councillor at Waikato Institute of Technology since 2015.

Sandie has a passion for women in leadership and equal pay. She has been working with YWCA Auckland since 2015 to support this aim. As Ambassador Equal Pay for YWCA Auckland, Sandie is promoting, supporting and working alongside all parties and organisations that support equal pay and those that wish to enter in either the YWCA Equal Pay Compact or Equal Pay Awards.

Jackie Blue

Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner

Here's a quote from Jackie Blue

"New Zealand has dined out far too long on the fact that we were the first country where women were given the vote, that we have had two female Prime Ministers and once, for just 17 months, we had women in the top positions in the country – Prime Minster, Speaker, Governor General and Chief Justice.

Past winning corporations of the YWCA Equal Pay Awards are leading lights and a number of public sector organisations are continuing to shine, but we need to be far more ambitious when it comes to wage equality.

We should be aiming to be the first country in the world where there is a zero gender pay gap, where women are worth 100%."

Paula Bennett

Former Minister for Women and Deputy Prime Minister

Here's a quote from Paula Bennett

“Tackling the gender pay gap is absolutely a priority for me as Minister for Women and of State Services. Employers need to monitor their own gender pay gaps and take practical steps such as making flexible working arrangements easier and addressing pay equity for female-dominated workforces.

I’ve had personal experience of the gender pay gap in previous roles including when I worked as a dishwasher and nurse’s aide. Now that I’m in the position I’m in, my focus is relentlessly pursuing solutions to ensure that other New Zealand women don’t have the same experiences.

We’re making great progress in the State sector, including implementing the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity recommendations. I want all employers to more proactively consider the benefits that diversity will reap for their workforce and their business. The YWCA Equal Pay Awards are a great way for employers to show their progress and encourage others.”

Louise Upston

Former Minister for Women

Here's a quote from Louise Upston

"As Minister for Women, I welcome the third annual YWCA Equal Pay Awards.
I support initiatives that invite businesses to share best practice in workplace diversity.  I would encourage businesses to take up these practices so that equal pay becomes embedded in more organisations.  There are already outstanding examples within the New Zealand business community, who have been, and will continue to be leaders in equal pay.  With the strengthening of the economy, I would urge businesses to look at how they are utilising and rewarding women’s skills and experience.
I congratulate those who are already on the equal pay journey and encourage them to step forward and be recognised at this year’s YWCA Equal Pay Awards”

Mai Chen

Managing Partner, Chen Palmer and Chair, Superdiversity Centre for Law, Policy and Business

Here's a quote from Mai Chen

Mai Chen is one of New Zealand’s leading law and human rights experts and as an Asian woman understands the diversity issue from personal experience.

As Chair of the Superdiversity Centre for Law, Policy and Business, she is working on a ‘superdiversity stocktake’ to assist Government, business, organisations and New Zealanders transition to the country’s rapidly changing demographic profile.

She is also committed to improving gender equality in the workforce, making her a strong supporter of the YWCA Equal Pay Awards 2015.

Mai promotes the long-term, sustainable benefits to those prepared to tackle the issue. “I support gender equality because its good for business as well as being the right thing to do.”

“The advice I always give people when career counselling is to only go where they are truly valued; otherwise they will not be respected, or encouraged to reach their full potential.

“As the economy strengthens, the labour market is again tightening. The best staff, the real star performers, are always in short supply.

“The aim for any business which wants to stay at the top of its game and beat its competition is to recruit the best staff and keep them.

“Properly valuing staff contributions to your business is key to incentivising them to go hard and to commit. The main way to demotivate your staff is to treat them unfairly.”