Equal pay still
The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) has used Equal Pay Day -3 September - to call on employers to help close the pay gap.
64 days away
The WGEA said the day should be a reminder that an additional 64 days had to be worked by the average woman to equal what the average man took home in the previous financial year.
The Equal Pay Day calculation is based on the current national gender pay gap - 17.5 per cent, which equates to the average full-time woman earning $266.20 less each week than the average full-time working man ($1,252.20 compared to $1,518.40, an annual difference of $13,842.40).
Director of WGEA, Helen Conway said the national gender pay gap is a high-level figure impacted by industrial segregation and pay inequities at the organisation level and job level.
“People often ask, ‘does this mean employers pay women less than men for doing the exact same job?’” Ms Conway said.
“While that may be true in some instances, the issue is more complicated. An organisation may pay women and men doing the same jobs the same amounts, but have an organisation-wide gender pay gap because women are under-represented in management, and over-represented in lower-paid roles.”
Ms Conway said the uneven spread of women and men across industries also played a part.
“Workers in female-dominated industries tend to receive lower wages than those in male-dominated industries such as mining,” she said.
Ms Conway said that disaggregating the national gender pay gap across industries showed that the female-dominated health care and social assistance industry had the highest gender pay gap (32.3 per cent, up from 31.3 in May 2012), followed by finance and insurance (31.4 per cent down from 32.7 per cent) and professional, scientific and technical services (30.1 per cent up from 27.1 per cent).
“From next year, non-public sector employers with 100 or more staff will be required by legislation to report on remuneration data broken down by gender; the existence of any remuneration policy or strategy; whether such a policy or strategy includes specific gender pay equity objectives; whether a gender remuneration gap analysis has been undertaken, and, if so, when it was undertaken, and what actions were taken as a result,” she said.
“This will give employers useful data to assist them identify whether they have a gender pay gap. WGEA will use this data to create educational benchmarks.”
Edition 378, 10 September 2013