SCU finds women earn less in tourism

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - BETTER BUSINESS - GREG WHITE greg.white@coff­s­coas­tad­vo­

HOS­PI­TAL­ITY and tourism ac­tiv­i­ties have a huge in­flu­ence on the health of the North Coast econ­omy but a South­ern Cross Univer­sity study sug­gests not all sec­tors are get­ting the ben­e­fit.

As­so­ci­ate Pro­fes­sor Michael Kortt of the School of Busi­ness and Tourism found fe­male work­ers earn al­most 10 per cent less than their male col­leagues.

The study, pub­lished in Tourism Anal­y­sis, used data from a House­hold, In­come and Labour Dy­nam­ics in Aus­tralia sur­vey to es­ti­mate the gen­der wage gap for the sec­tor.

“The prin­ci­pal find­ings sug­gest fe­male tourism em­ploy­ees earn 8.5 per cent less and hos­pi­tal­ity em­ploy­ees earn 7.5 per cent less than male coun­ter­parts,” Prof Kortt said.

“There are a num­ber of pos­si­ble rea­sons for this.

“Firstly, women may pos­sess less hu­man cap­i­tal than male coun­ter­parts with ed­u­ca­tion be­ing a note­wor­thy fac­tor.

“How­ever, dif­fer­ences in the re­turns to ed­u­ca­tion do not ap­pear to be a com­pelling ex­pla­na­tion.

“Se­condly, women ac­cu­mu­late work ex­pe­ri­ence at a slower rate be­cause their par­tic­i­pa­tion in the labour force is tra­di­tion­ally in­ter­rupted by ma­jor life events like ma­ter­nity leave and child rear­ing.”

Con­trols for ed­u­ca­tional at­tain­ment and work ex­pe­ri­ence were in­cluded in the study, in ad­di­tion to an ex­ten­sive range of de­mo­graphic and so­cial char­ac­ter­is­tics.

“Even af­ter con­trol­ling for these fac­tors our re­sults in­di­cate fe­male em­ploy­ees still in­cur a wage penalty and may face dis­crim­i­na­tion in the tourism and hos­pi­tal­ity labour mar­ket,” Prof Kortt said.

He called for ef­forts to be de­voted to elim­i­nat­ing any re­main­ing gen­der pay dis­par­ity.

He said the next step would be to look at par­tic­u­lar jobs within the sec­tor to see whether wage dis­crim­i­na­tion ex­ists for spe­cific roles.

Photo: MaxPixel

UN­DER­PAID: Women who work in hos­pi­tal­ity and tourism are paid less than their male coun­ter­parts.

SCU’s As­so­ci­ate Pro­fes­sor Michael Kortt from the School of Busi­ness and Tourism.

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