This is how PwC Australia discovered it was paying its female staff 11% less than men

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PwC Australia thought it was doing the right thing by all its 6300 employees. Then an audit found it was paying its female staff less than men.

The accountancy group knew there was an issue but not its size. The analysis found the gender base pay gap is 11.4% in favour of males. The national gap is 18.8%.

CEO Luke Sayers everyone thinks they make fair decisions but unconscious bias can be a dangerous thing.

“It’s not until you zoom in on every role in every team that you start to see how easy it is for the scales to get out of balance,” he says. “We want to create a more diverse and inclusive firm and we are going to push hard to achieve this. Anything else is unacceptable.”

Sayers says he believes making his own organisation’s statistics public is a powerful way to address pay equity.

“We hope that by sharing our results, others will follow, and we will start to close the gap, which is so unacceptable in our society,” says CEO Luke Sayers.

“Talking about the issue and saying we are taking action is not good enough. We have to back the rhetoric and hold ourselves accountable, and one of the ways companies can do this is by disclosing their results.”

PwC is going to do detailed pay gap analysis each year.

“Equal pay for equal roles is only part of the challenge,” Sayers says. “The other contributing factor to pay inequity is an imbalance in the number of men in senior positions versus women.”

Only 18% of the partners at PwC are female.

PwC now has a target of 40% women and 40% men making up our future partner appointments. The remaining 20% can be either men or women.

Another big accountancy group, KPMG, has put annual reviews and bonuses for 6500 staff on hold while it investigates pay inequity.

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