Fe­male pay rates poorly

Joondalup Times - - NEWS -

THE na­tional gen­der pay gap has reached its low­est level in 20 years at 14.6 per cent, ac­cord­ing to the Work­place Gen­der Equal­ity Agency.

How­ever, in WA the gen­der pay gap re­mains sig­nif­i­cantly higher at 22.4 per cent.

Joon­dalup MLA Emily Hamil­ton and Belmont MLA Cassie Rowe re­cently co-hosted an Equal Pay Day event at Par­lia­ment House with the Joon­dalup and Belmont Busi­ness and Pro­fes­sional Women’s or­gan­i­sa­tions.

“As a sin­gle mother with school-aged chil­dren, I know first-hand the many bar­ri­ers women face in gain­ing equal­ity in the work­place,” Ms Hamil­ton said.

“At the event I noted the bar­ri­ers of ac­cess to child­care for women work­ing in in­dus­tries with un­con­ven­tional work­ing hours.

“My per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence in Par­lia­ment is just one ex­am­ple but the same could be said for shift­work­ers, hos­pi­tal­ity work­ers and many oth­ers.

“At the be­gin­ning of my ca­reer I worked two days a week and had two young chil­dren in day­care.

“The cost was con­sid­er­able and made me think very care­fully about con­tin­u­ing to work, given I was tak­ing home only a small amount of money once the child­care costs were ac­counted for.

“The is­sue of gen­der eq­uity should not be a gen­dered con­ver­sa­tion; rather the com­mu­nity as a whole need to be look­ing at ways to en­sure that we close the gap.”

Guest speaker Women’s In­ter­ests Min­is­ter Si­mone McGurk said while the gen­der pay gap was a big is­sue, there were some sim­ple so­lu­tions that could be im­ple­mented.

She said the State Gov­ern­ment had com­mit­ted to in­creas­ing the num­ber of women ap­pointed to gov­ern­ment boards and com­mit­tees to 50 per cent by the end of 2019 and in­creas­ing the pro­por­tion of women in the se­nior ex­ec­u­tive ser­vice.

Joon­dalup MLA Emily Hamil­ton, Belmont MLA Cassie Rowe, BPW Joon­dalup mem­ber San­dra Cook, BPW pres­i­dent Au­drey Tooze and Women’s In­ter­ests Min­is­ter Si­mone McGurk.

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