Australian men still earn 21% more than women – and up to 30% more in finance

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  • Australian men take home $25,717 a year more than women on average.
  • Pay gaps favour men in every industry and occupation and women earn on average 79% of men’s full-time total pay.
  • However, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency says there’s been a steady increase in women in management and leadership roles.

The gender pay gap is narrowing in Australia but men still earn an average $25,717 more than women.

Men get paid 21.3% more than women on average, according to data released today by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

The biggest pay gap is 30.3% in the financial services sector.

The data shows pay gaps favouring men in every industry and occupation and women earn on average just 79% of men’s full-time total pay.

The five-year data trends show no movement in gender segregation across Australian industries and little improvement in either access to paid parental leave or the representation of women at CEO level or on boards.

The pay gap:


The gap is narrowing, slowly:


All industries have a gender pay gap in favour of men.

And financial and insurance services is the industry with the highest total remuneration gender pay gap at 30.3%.

Construction has now replaced Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services as the industry with the second-highest gender pay gap at 29.4%.

The gender pay gaps by types of manager category and non-manager occupations:


And the pay gap by industry:


Libby Lyons, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s director, says the data shows a steady rise in the number of women in management roles and growth in employer action in areas such as overall gender equality policies and strategies, pay equity and flexible work.

Women now make up almost 40% of the managers and almost a third of key management personnel, which is just below the CEO level, are now women.

But women still face considerable barriers at work.

“The five years of data collection demonstrates the value of measuring workplace gender equality,” she says.

“We have clear evidence that employer action delivers real results and we should recognise the great work many employers have done in addressing issues such as pay equity.

“As employers have taken action, the gender pay gap has declined and gender equality outcomes for women and men across Australia have improved.”

However, the data also highlights areas for improvement.

“Although the gender pay gap has narrowed every year, progress is too slow,” she says.

“Access to parental leave has not improved, with the provision of paid primary carer’s leave actually going backwards.

“The glass walls persist in industry segregation, which remains deeply entrenched in Australia. The glass ceiling is still a barrier for women at the CEO and board levels.”