The Gender Pay Gap
The gender pay gay is the difference between women’s and men’s average weekly full-time equivalent earnings, expressed as a percentage of men’s earnings. The national gender pay gap is calculated annually by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency using the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ labour force data. The gap is currently 17.9% and has hovered between 15% and 19% for the past two decades.
Some of the reasons for pay inequity and our worsening pay gap are:
- “women’s work” is undervalued
- In professions where women predominate, wages are generally lower than industry standards
- Women more often work part-time and in temporary jobs that have reduced hourly pay rates
- Women earn less than men because more men work in better-paid sectors and at higher levels in better-paid jobs.
- Women often face a ‘glass ceiling’; they do not move on to senior positions even when they have the same qualifications as men.
- Gender role stereotypes still predominate and our workforces are often segregated into women’s work and men’s work.
In 2015 in Australia:
- Women make up 6% of all employees;
- Women constitute 69.3% of all part-time employees, 35.7% of all full-time employees, and 57% of all casual employees:
- Women earn an average of 17.9% less than men (based on full time earnings).
- Of the ASX 200 companies, only 20% have female directors, of which 6% have female chairs and 6% have female CEO’s;
- On average, women receive just 6% of men’s superannuation payout on retirement.
- Women continue to bear the greatest share of domestic work and child care; and
Women continue to have unequal access to the benefits of workplace bargaining and are over-represented in low-paid jobs dependent on minimum wages and conditions.