The Truth About Gender Pay Gap in Australia

Visual comparison of earnings inequality between genders in Australia with figures on coin stacks.

People, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, and colour, should have an equal chance to pursue their dream careers and receive the wages they deserve. But truth be told, Australia still has a long way to go when it comes to providing equal economic opportunity.

Despite being a wealthy, forward-thinking nation, the gender pay gap remains an issue in Australia. Sure, the equality matter has decreased over the years, but it’s still far too high, sitting at the 39th spot in the global pay gap ranking. The leading cause, according to a study by KPMG, is sex discrimination in the workplace.

We’ll talk you through some blunt numbers in a gender wage gap analysis to learn more about the issue. After that, we’ll talk some more about why this gender pay gap is still present in Australia. Prepare yourself, specially women, as the numbers may be hard to look for a second.

Gender Pay Gap Statistics in Australia

  • The two areas in Australia that have the highest gender pay gap are Western Australia (21.8%) and Queensland (16.6%). This is mainly due to the fact that there are large mining industries here, which employ significantly more men than women. This also applies in highly paid positions. Meanwhile, the areas with the lowest pay differences are Victoria (9.6%) and South Australia (9.2%).
  • Currently, women still earn 86c for every $1 a man makes – even in the same job
  • Working full-time, across a variety of industries and employment, women collect 14% less than men. This figure does not include bonuses or non-salary compensation.
  • This means that women earn an overall massive $9k each year less than men…or $241 less per week
  • Women have to work 59 more days a year than men to make the same amount of money.
  • Women also have 43% less superannuation when it comes to retirement.

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Why is There a Gender Pay Gap in Australia?

There are plenty of theories surrounding the causes of the gender pay gap in Australia, but generally, it encompasses three main points:

1. Discrimination

Some research states that ultimately, there is a bias in recruiting professionals, whether conscious or unconscious. The same bias is present when companies make hiring decisions, pay rates, and promotion decisions. Discrimination covers 38% of the gender pay gap cases.

Likewise, women perform a much bigger share of domestic and unpaid caring work in the workplace because of both social and historical causes. It’s important to know though that men also penalise other men for taking on the domestic responsibilities.

2. Time Out

In 21% of cases, any career interruptions have a significant impact on the opportunities available as well as on the chance to progress a person’s career. According to research, raising children, though valuable, contributes to the 17% loss of wages for women. Since they have to raise a family, mums are more likely to choose part-time career as well. Some of the mums focus on creative hobbies as well.

3. Segregation of Industry

About 19% of the gender pay gap cases state that industries dominated by female workers and leaders are paid lower than their male counterparts. There was a 50-year study that shows that when more women join an industry, the pay rate steadily declines. The smallest pay gap is in the public sector, with women overrepresented in the healthcare sector.

Women in Leadership

Some statistics covering women in leadership include the fact that 17.1% of the CEOs across Australia are women. There is a higher figure of female managers in CEOs for Gender Equality companies at 40.2%. Across Australia, 39% of managers are women.

The Truth

The truth is that the Australian gender pay gap sitting shows how much less women earn more than their male colleagues on average across every sector and role in the country. Of course, this figure doesn’t compare like-for-like, as while there is a gap, it does leave out the bigger picture.

The overall position in the workplace for women is the biggest indicator of their financial participation and opportunities. Worldwide, women are 41.9% behind men on the economic index, which is second to political empowerment. This is where women com 77% behind, which is a staggering statistic.

When you do compare the like-for-like, women who are just as qualified as men are still paid less, treated differently and seen as less than equal to their male counterparts. Women will always expect to make 2% less than a man doing the exact same job, and this affects the experience that they have in the workplace.

To sum up this sheet, based on the abovementioned figures, 38% of the gender pay gap in Australia is based on sex discrimination. It’s the biggest factor that affects pay equality, with segregation in the industry a close second.

The gender pay gap in Australia is an issue that needs to be ended otherwise it gives some women the thought to work out of the country instead, or worse, to not work at all.

Meanwhile, of the many ways for you to earn higher is to increase your qualifications in a specific field. Here at Get Course, we offer affordable online courses that can give you some edge in the workplace in terms of skills, knowledge and practice. For questions, please fill out and submit an enquiry form. You can find it by clicking the orange button below.

All the best!

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