Talks start on pay gap in con­struc­tion

Kalgoorlie Miner - - REAL ESTATE - He­len Shield

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.”

Pic­ture: Nic El­lis

Com­merce Minister Bill John­ston.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.