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Gender Pay Equality in Australia
4.5 minutes read
Catalyst for Pay Equity in Australia
The gender pay gap is a complicated and heated discussion in many industries. The issue of pay equity has long been a challenge for businesses, going far beyond gender when considering the racial pay gap as well.
Australia continues to make legislative changes to promote gender equality, yet still struggles to have the desired societal and organisational impact being demanded. The collection of data and corresponding analysis is just one element providing critical insights to continue making tangible changes within organisational frameworks.
According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), Pay Equity refers to paying individuals, regardless of gender, equal pay for work of equal or comparable value. Equal pay includes discretionary pay, allowances, performance payments, merit payments, bonus payments, and superannuation.
Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012
In Australia, employers with 100 or more employees and higher education institutions are required to submit their salary and remuneration data to WGEA (Workplace Gender Equality Agency), to assist in determining wage inequalities between genders.
The calculation used to determine the status of the Gender Pay Gap is:
Essentially showing the difference between the average weekly full time equivalent earnings of men to women.
WGEA: 2021 Gender Pay Gap Performance
The 2021 WGEA Report showcases some interesting statistics:
- Currently in Australia men earn on average 13.8% more than their female counterparts.
- This translates to a female earning on average $255.30 per week less than men or as an annual package, this is $25,800 per annum.
- Over 85% of Australian employers still pay men more than women on average.
- Western Australia has the highest gender pay gap Nationally, with men earning 21.2% more than women.
- Top 3 industries with the highest gender pay gap:
- Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services // Pay men 24.4% Higher than women
- Health Care and Social Assistance // 21.2% Higher
- Financial and Insurance Services // 20.6% Higher
- Top 3 industries with the lowest gender pay gap:
- Public Administration and Safety // Pay men 8.5% Higher than women
- Electricity, Gas, Water, and Waste services // 7.8% Higher
- Other Services // 3.6% Higher
Progress through Organisational Policy changes:
- 6% of Organisations have implemented a Flexible Working Policy where both genders enjoy the benefits of flexibility and adaptable working hours.
- 51% of Organisations provide paid Domestic Violence Leave.
- Whilst we talk about Pay Equity, it is also important to highlight that 9% of businesses in Australia are still providing access to Company paid primary carer Parental Leave solely to women.
Benefits of Bridging the Gender Pay Gap
Employees want to work in a safe, fair environment where they are valued as individuals.
- Great business culture and branding
- Better employee engagement and retention
- Lower turnover costs resulting in better ROI
- Higher productivity
- A diverse workforce brings wider perspectives and innovation
How your Business can make an impact
- Be transparent on pay: Always research market rates for each role and offer a fair salary regardless of gender. Prohibit pay secrecy clauses and give employees the right to disclose their pay.
- Fairness in promotions and rewards: Ensure that clear criteria are communicated within policy frameworks for internal promotions, secondments, pay increases and bonuses.
- Set up systems for gender pay gap reporting and auditing: Businesses that commit to report on audit outcomes are more likely to narrow their gender pay gap.
- Knock down gender norms that restricts men and women: Businesses can play their part by supporting men and women to choose roles that go beyond the traditional image of femininity and masculinity.
- Remove bias within business processes and policies: Consider terminology and application of procedures starting with the hiring process, moving through ways of working and communicating to the transition process when an employee leaves your Company.
Providing equal opportunity regardless of gender can provide significant economic security and can create a psychologically safer and more welcoming workplace for everyone.
If you need assistance reviewing your pay equity frameworks or would like help bridging the pay gap, please contact us at Catalyst Central: firstname.lastname@example.org