Na­tional gen­der pay gap at 17.1 per cent

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - North East Jobs -

NEW fig­ures re­leased re­cently by the Aus­tralian Bureau of Sta­tis­tics show that, on aver­age, full-time work­ing women’s earn­ings are 17.1 per cent less per week than full-time work­ing men’s earn­ings (a dif­fer­ence that equates to $262.50 per week).

This gap in male and fe­male earn­ings has de­creased slightly since the last set of ABS fig­ures were re­leased in Au­gust 2013, when the gap was 17.5 per cent.

Women’s earn­ings have in­creased at a slightly higher rate than men’s over the past 12 months: 3.5 per cent com­pared to 3 per cent.

The na­tional gen­der pay gap has hov­ered be­tween 15-18 per cent for around two decades and is in­flu­enced by a va­ri­ety of fac­tors in­clud­ing in­dus­trial and oc­cu­pa­tional seg­re­ga­tion, a lack of women in lead­er­ship, the fact that women still do most of so­ci­ety’s un­paid car­ing, a lack of se­nior part-time and flex­i­ble roles (which dis­ad­van­tages women who are more likely to work part-time or flex­i­bly), and di­rect or in­di­rect dis­crim­i­na­tion.

“This per­sis­tent pay gap is both con­cern­ing and frus­trat­ing. And sadly, there is a pay gap in favour of men in ev­ery sin­gle in­dus­try,” said He­len Con­way, di­rec­tor of the Workplace Gen­der Equal­ity Agency ( WGEA).

“Some of the high­est gen­der pay gaps are found in fe­male dom­i­nated in­dus­tries in­clud­ing health care and so­cial as­sis­tance and fi­nance and in­sur­ance ser­vices,” Ms Con­way said.

How­ever, Ms Con­way said she is pleased that there is ev­i­dence that em­ploy­ers are tak­ing steps to en­sure that they are pay­ing their staff fairly.

In a WGEA sur­vey con­ducted last year (2594 re­spon­dents) one third of re­spon­dents said they had con­ducted a gen­der pay gap anal­y­sis and a quar­ter of or­gan­i­sa­tions have un­der­taken an anal­y­sis in the pre­vi­ous 12 months.

One in two or­gan­i­sa­tions said they had plans to con­duct a gen­der pay gap anal­y­sis in the com­ing 12 months.

“It’s fair to as­sume em­ploy­ers don’t de­lib­er­ately set out to dis­crim­i­nate be­tween women and men, but many or­gan­i­sa­tions sim­ply don’t re­alise they have a gen­der pay gap,” Ms Con­way said.

“I say to or­gan­i­sa­tions who think pay eq­uity isn’t an is­sue for them, ‘how do you know?’.

“Un­less you’ve an­a­lysed your pay­roll data, any as­ser­tion that you don’t have a prob­lem is un­in­formed.”

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