Here’s a sobering thought,
last year, girls outperformed boys in every state’s final school exams. Great news for the sisterhood, right? Well, yes, except that this isn’t a new trend; girls have been ranked higher than the guys in final exams for years now, which you would expect to translate into great success in the workplace. But it doesn’t. Currently, the gender pay gap in Australia is 15.3 per cent. Put simply, if you and the guy you meet on Tinder were doing the exact same job with the same qualifications and level of experience, there’s a good chance he’d be getting paid, on average, 15.3 per cent more, for no other reason than that he’s a bloke.
In just about every industry, men outearn women, based on the same workload and job description. For example, a female HR manager will likely get paid $86,888, while a guy doing the same job will pocket $105,404. That’s a difference of nearly 18 per cent.
According to Marian Baird, Professor of Gender and Employment Relations at The University of Sydney Business School, the largest pay gaps are in the finance sector, where a female investment manager will earn around $109,666, and a guy doing the same work will cash in with $173,084. That’s a gap of nearly 37 per cent. ‘This is the result of an interaction of a number of factors; nontransparency of pay and bonuses, and distance from pay regulation at higher levels,’ says Professor Baird.
That’s not to say there aren’t areas where women earn more than men, because there are, but they tend to be the lowestpaid jobs in the country, such as receptionists and childcare workers, where the average annual salary is less than $50,000. That is, women are outearning men in these roles not because they’re being paid substantially more, but because few men are interested in these industries, or hold paid roles in them. By contrast, the average income for men in roles where the gap most strongly favours them is up to 11 times higher. These roles include jobs such as pathologists, radiologists, lawyers and oncologists.