15 November, 2017

LION NZ wins Gold at YWCA Equal Pay Awards

Lion NZ was named as the Gold – Champion winner at the YWCA Equal Pay Awards held in Auckland last night, recognising the work Lion has undertaken in the area of equal pay.

Judges said Lion’s work demonstrated what could be done by an executive team committed to stepping up and tackling the issue of equal pay.

In 2016, Lion undertook a review of its employee salaries, and as a result identified an average 3.2% gender pay gap across Lion. The company took action to close the gap immediately; in October 2016, a significant number of Lion people received one-off salary adjustments. In New Zealand, 59% were women.

Managing Director Rory Glass said, “Closing the gender pay across Lion came at a significant cost to the business, but making the decision to do it was straightforward. At Lion, one of our core values is “Do the Right Thing for the Long Term”.  So that’s what we did. We’re delighted to accept this award from the YWCA, and we look forward to continue our journey to create a more inclusive workplace.”

While the one-off payments corrected the existing gap, Glass said, the company also needed to address the underlying reasons for the pay gap to ensure it didn’t open up again. To tackle the underlying issues, Lion changed processes at the point of hire, promotion and appointment, focussing on building awareness of market competitive pay and unconscious bias across the business.

“One key change we made was determining the market salaries ourselves, rather than using candidates’ salary expectations as a starting point,” says Lion NZ’s People & Culture Director Robin Davies.

“The systemic nature of the gender pay gap meant that by asking for salary expectations, we risked female candidates positioning themselves under the market, or lower than their male counterparts.”

Since the October 2016 salary re-set, and updating its recruitment processes, Lion NZ has retested salary data twice and the gender pay gap has remained closed.

The YWCA Equal Pay Awards follows Lion’s win in the Work-Life Balance category in the DiversityWorks New Zealand Awards earlier in the year, recognising its flexible work initiatives.

Lion continues to reap the benefits of an increased focus on flexibility and diversity. 91% of Lion NZ people say they “really enjoy coming to work” with the company boasting a 90% engagement score, retaining its place within the Global High Performance Norm.

Rory Glass says, “A diverse workforce creates diversity of thought, and diversity of thought is good for business. Gender should not be a barrier to achievement at work. Often what you stand against is just as important as what you stand for, and at Lion we stand against a gender pay gap.”


For further information:

Genevieve O’Halloran

External Relations Manager

Lion (Beer, Spirits and Wine) New Zealand



0274 063 467