Talks start on pay gap in construction
Introducing political rock star and arguably WA’s favourite should-have-been prime minister Julie Bishop is unlikely to glean you much of the limelight, but it was a role embraced with aplomb by Bankwest chief operating officer Shari Cosgriff.
Ms Cosgriff, introducing Ms Bishop at a Master Builders WA Women in Building and Construction lunch at The Westin on Friday, noted that there were 125,000 people working full-time in construction across Australia.
“And 83 per cent of them are men,” she said, citing a Workplace Gender Equality Agency report that found men earned more than a quarter more than women.
“Of all of the industries surveyed, the construction industry didn’t particularly get a glowing report,” Ms Cosgriff said. All was not lost. When employers took a proactive position and conducted pay gap audits the gap tended to narrow, because that which was measured tended to get managed.
Ms Cosgriff noted evidence of “industrial deafness” with just a third of construction industry employers completing this audit.
“Meaning, of course, around two-thirds didn’t,” she said.
“While it wasn’t the most glowing endorsement of the industry’s efforts to address the pay-gap issue, the gap in itself represents a wonderful opportunity for people to start a discussion.”
Commerce Minister Bill Johnston.