Taking a stand to close the retirement savings gender gap

Diversity and inclusion August 9, 2022

Z is making changes to its KiwiSaver offering as it works to help close the retirement savings gender gap in New Zealand.

Z office

“We’re proud to already offer a competitive 5 per cent employer KiwiSaver contribution and 26 weeks paid parental leave scheme to our employees. Along with our commitment to closing our gender pay gap, these additional changes felt like a natural next step” says Z’s Chief People Officer, Helen Sedcole.


The updated offering will see Z:

  • Continue to provide 5 per cent KiwiSaver contribution to all eligible employees;
  • Provide 5 per cent KiwiSaver contribution to employees on parental leave for their entire parental leave period, including any unpaid parental leave period;
  • Pay employees working part-time (over 20 hours per week) 5 per cent KiwiSaver contribution based on the full-time salary equivalent rather than their actual pro-rata pay; and
  • Deliver financial literacy sessions for all Z employees.


In New Zealand, the average KiwiSaver balance for women is 20 per cent lower than the average balance for men across all age groups. According to a recent NZIER report, the key drivers of this include the pay equity gap and career changes that may occur due to a parent or caregiver taking a career break or working less hours to focus on their whānau, and the compounding effect on savings this break in KiwiSaver contributions has over time.

“These statistics are significant, which is why Z is committed to looking at new initiatives that better support our employees on their parenthood journey,” says Helen.

As a kiwi employer, Z encourages all organisations to think differently about how they can challenge the status quo by being bold, innovative and standing up for what matters for their employees.  

“We encourage other organisations to consider similar initiatives as it will take a collective effort to address and close these gaps across Aotearoa New Zealand’s workforce,” continues Helen.

This year Z received its Advanced GenderTick reaccreditation from the YWCA, which provides independent assurance around gender policies and practices. During this process they made recommendations on how to further enhance the employee experience.

“Z sees these accreditations as more than just a tick box exercise. We looked seriously at the recommendations they gave us for how we can continue to improve the experience for our employees and engaged with relevant groups within Z to prioritise changes most important to them,” says Helen.

YWCA Chief Executive Dellwyn Stuart says “Z Energy are a progressive organisation in diversity, equity and inclusion, with a clear strategic focus on gender equality. We are proud to have them as GenderTick members leading the way with initiatives like this that have a positive and tangible impact on the lives of kiwi women.”


Media enquiries
Kiri Shannon, Communications Specialist — kiri.shannon@z.co.nz 021 0234 4157