Economics Award announced for work on women in the workforce

02 September 2021

New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (Inc)
Media Release, 2 September 2021
For immediate release

The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research is pleased to announce that Dr Isabelle Sin, Senior Fellow at Motu, is the recipient of the inaugural NZIER Early Career Economics Leader Award for 2021.

The $10,000 award recognises Isabelle’s work on the gender pay gap in medicine and her work on intended vs actual parental leave for working mothers.

Her work on the gender pay gap, using New Zealand data, revealed that women were paid substantially less even when controlling for factors that might influence the gender pay gap, such as years of experience, that might be influenced by parenthood.

Examining the life of working mothers, she found they would prefer to take 69 weeks leave, much longer than the 26 weeks of paid parental leave. They expected to be able to take only 36 weeks, with much of the difference due to financial constraints. Half of mothers returned to work earlier than expected.

NZIER Board member and Selection Panel chair Professor Les Oxley said that “New Zealand has some outstanding early-career leaders in a range of economics-related positions, and we felt it was time they were recognised and encouraged for their advancements of economics on so many levels. Isabelle has demonstrated leadership in some fundamentally important areas for New Zealand, and that work, we believe, will have a long term impact and global significance.

The Selection Panel includes the NZIER Panel Chair, the President of the New Zealand Association of Economists, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Governor of the Reserve Bank, an academic, a business leader or their nominees.

The NZIER Early Career Economics Leader Award has been inaugurated, organised, and underwritten by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research to recognise and encourage the advancement of economics in New Zealand. This is a biennial award.

For further information, please contact:
Todd Krieble
027 742 6415

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