Plain Language Awards

Celebrate the stories of our clearest business communicators

Finalist: Best Plain English Sentence Transformation 2017

Ministry for Women

Document name

Closing the gender pay gap — advice for employers

Intended audience

Employers who want to know if they have a gender pay gap and how to address it.

Original sentence

While fast and efficient, when unconscious knowledge and thinking processes are based on inaccurate stereotypes about work and gender they can negatively influence decisions about the recruitment, pay and career progression of women.
[33 words]

Rewritten sentence

This ‘fast thinking’ is efficient but when it is based on stereotypes, it leads to unconscious bias and disadvantages women.
[20 words]

Judges’ comments

This writer has taken an unnecessarily wordy 33-word sentence and streamlined it to 20 words with direct, active, clear language. It’s a great improvement.

Overall, the rewrite is excellent. The writer took a wordy, somewhat garbled statement and made it very clear and very concise. Well done!

Media statement

The Ministry for Women is thrilled that we were a finalist in the Best Sentence Transformation category at the Plain English Awards. We are also thrilled that our booklet Closing the gender pay gap — actions for employers was a finalist in the Best Document category. The sentence we transformed came from this booklet.

‘The gender pay gap, its causes, and solutions to close it are complex,’ says Renee Graham, Ministry for Women Chief Executive. ‘However, it’s important that all employers and employees are able to have access to information that helps them identify if their organisations have a gap and how to tackle it.

‘That’s why we’ve placed such an emphasis on ensuring that our material is evidence-based, and easy to read and understand.

‘Being judged a finalist in this category confirms that our approach to making language clear and concise has paid off. I’d like to congratulate all the team at the Ministry who worked on these documents.’

Our Closing the gender pay gap — actions for employers booklet is available on the Ministry’s website:

Renee Graham
Chief Executive