Progress towards pay parity
By Sarah-Jane Dabarera & Emma Britton
Australian’s are seeing a positive shift towards parity in pay for men and women, with the gender pay gap in Australia now at its lowest in 20 years.
This decrease has been recognised in the Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s (WGEA) most recent data on the gender pay gap ahead of Equal Pay Day, which takes place this Friday 31 August.
The data released by WGEA this year revealed that the pay gap has shrunk from 15.3 per cent to 14.6 per cent over the past 12 months. That’s equivalent to a difference in earnings of $244.80 per week.
WGEA cited research conducted by KPMG that reveals some of the reasons the pay gap still exists. According to the research, the ongoing issue of pay disparity can be attributed not only to unconscious bias or discrimination during the hiring process but also as a result of a lack of flexible work options or reduced options for women who spend time out of the workforce.
Based on the data issued by WGEA, women would have had to work an additional 62 days after the end of the financial year to have earned the same as men.
The national gender pay gap is the difference in the average weekly full-time base salary earnings of women and men. It is an overall measure of women’s position in the paid workforce and doesn’t directly compare roles like for like.
Women and men at all levels should maintain their efforts to champion change within their organisations to ensure that the progress over the last twelve months continues.
WGEA has acknowledged the efforts of employers to review and assess their equality issues, including pay gaps, and then act to improve.
For more information on the gender pay gap and Equal Pay Day visit equalpayday.com.au.