- The Workplace Gender Equality Agency has released a chart identifying the extent of the gender pay gap in each Australian state.
- The release coincides Equal Pay Day on Wednesday 28 August, marking the 59 extra days women have to work to earn the same amount as men in a financial year.
- The year 2019 is also significant as it marks the 50th anniversary of the ‘equal pay for equal work’ legislation in Australia.
The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) has released a chart identifying the extent of the gender pay gap in each Australian state.
The release coincides with this year’s Equal Pay Day, which falls on Wednesday August 28, marking the additional 59 days women have to work from the end of the last financial year to earn the same amount as men, according to the WGEA.
The gender pay gap is a measure of the difference between the average earnings of women and men in the Australian workforce, according to WGEA. It is often misunderstood to mean two people being paid differently for the same work or work of the same value. That refers to equal pay and it is illegal in Australia.
In Australia, the gender pay gap is currently 14% for full-time employees, a difference of $241.50 per week, according to WGEA.
The agency highlighted that the pay gap had previously hovered between 15% and 19% for the past 20 years.
WGEA compared the gender pay gaps in each state and identified how many extra days women have to work on average, to earn the same as men in each of them.
Western Australia had the largest pay gap (21.8%), with women in the state having to work 101 days on average to catch up, while South Australia had the lowest gender pay gap (9.2%), with women having to work around 37 extra days.
WGEA Director Libby Lyons said the gender pay gap matters for women. “Although the gap is closing faster in some states than others, Australian women still have to deal with a pay gap favouring men in every state and territory of our nation,” she said in a statement.
“The gender pay gap will not close on its own. It will only close if all of us – employers and employees, women and men – work together to make it happen.”
The year 2019 also marks the 50th anniversary of the equal pay for equal work legislation in Australia, the Australian Federation of Business and Professional Women . The principle of equal pay for equal work was recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, with Australian women granted equal pay in 1969.
#equalpayday: Today is the 50th anniversary of [Un] Equal Pay Day, 50 years ago, NASA put man on the moon. NASA has since gone on to launch rockets to Mars, and probes past Pluto. Yet we still can't get equal pay! Follow us today to learn more https://t.co/aIrIN4LbII #itstime pic.twitter.com/p0bQgq6Gwt
— Australian Gender Equality Council (@ausgenderequal) August 27, 2019
Edweena Stratton, vice president of employee success at Salesforce Asia-Pacific told Business Insider Australia in an email that while the national gender pay gap has fallen, there is still a long way to go towards pay equity.
She explained that Salesforce — which has been crowned Best Place to Work in Australia for 2019 — has taken action to make sure it addresses equal pay for equal work on a global scale.
“At its heart, pay equity is about equality — a level playing field and fair recognition for every employee’s work, regardless of their gender, orientation, race or otherwise,” she said.
“Since 2016, Salesforce has conducted an annual global equal pay assessment to identify and address any unexplained differences in pay between our male and female employees. To date, we have dedicated over $10.3 million to address these differences, and we will continue to review and adjust compensation to ensure that everyone is fairly recognised for their work.”
Last week, KPMG released a report that found gender discrimination to be the biggest reason for the gender pay gap. The next biggest reason was occupational segregation – the unequal distribution of women and men in certain positions.
KPMG Australia chair Alison Kitchen said at the time that addressing the gender pay gap in Australia will be economically beneficial for Australia. “Solving the challenge of Australia’s gender pay gap is not only fair and sensible, it’s an economically responsible endeavor,” she said.
Let’s just hope it won’t take 50 years for the gender pay gap to close.
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