Aussies always get by for equal pay

A slight improvement in the latest gender pay gap data released by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) has “barely” made progress in tackling “persistent and significant” pay inequality between women and men. men.

About 85% of Australian workplaces reported pay gaps in favor of men, according to The WGEA’s latest gender equality briefing report.

The report draws on a 2020-21 gender equality census for non-public sector organizations with 100 or more employees, and found that the pay gap in the country’s total compensation has narrowed by 0.5% since the last financial year to reach 22.8%.

This slight improvement represents a substantial difference in take home pay of $25,792, the WGEA found, but also paints an incomplete picture given that just under half (48.5%) of workplaces surveyed performed their own analysis of the gender pay gap.

WGEA director Mary Wooldridge said there had been small, mixed improvements in workplaces in the eighth year of data collection, but said pay gaps remained across all industries and occupations.

“Top to bottom, women are undervalued in Australian business and underrepresented where decisions are made,” said Wooldridge.

The new data showed that 47% of managerial promotions went to women in fiscal year 2020-21 and, for the first time, women now make up more than 4 in 10 (41%) of all managers ( compared to 35.9% over eight years).

It was clear that decision-making structures in Australia were still male-dominated, Woodridge added, noting that less than one in five CEOs in the country are women.

“Our latest information clearly shows this trend: 22% of all councils still do not have a single woman in the room, and around ¾ of all councils have a large majority (over 60%) of men.

“Of these heavily male-dominated boards, only 12% have set a target for increasing female representation, and on average that target is only 35% – not even what is generally considered a balanced board. “, said Wooldridge.

Woodridge also pointed to the agency’s research with the Bankwest Curtin Economics Center (BCEC) which estimated that gender parity at CEO level in Australia would not be achieved for 80 years on current rates of progress.

“There must be clear pathways for women to be in the right positions so that they can take the next step to becoming leading organizations, she said.

“Data and research have established a clear business imperative: having more women in key decision-making positions leads to better business performance, greater productivity and profitability, and better gender equality. .”

The WGEA used the 2020-2021 Gender Equality Scorecard to map earnings across four earnings quartiles, from highest to lowest paid workers.

Data showing that women hold the best jobs in Australian workplaces has exacerbated gender pay gap figures and been reflected in the average earnings of women and men across the workforce. work.

“Men are twice as likely to be well paid as women in Australia, with salaries of $120,000 or more, while it is virtually the opposite for women, who are significantly overrepresented at the highest level. bottom of all income,” Woodridge said.

Additional research by the WGEA and BCEC found that more women in leadership positions helped reduce the industry-wide gender pay gap and that measures to improve gender equality revenue were three times more effective when combined with reporting to CEOs and the board of directors.

“Nearly half of employers who have done a compensation audit have taken no further action, with many believing that the shortcomings identified are explainable or justified. However, just because a pay gap is understandable does not mean it is fair: action can and should be taken.

“Organizations that are transparent and accountable in their pay gap audits have seen an average reduction of 3.3 percentage points in their organization-wide gender pay gap in one year,” said Woodridge.


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