Equal Pay Day 2023: Call for employers to eliminate the barriers for women in the workplace

Today marks the 56 days into the new financial year that Australian women must work to earn the same, on average, as men did last year.

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) is calling on employers to eliminate the barriers of bias, discrimination and entrenched gender stereotypes that devalue women and their work and drive the gender pay gap.

“When you look at the records broken by Taylor Swift, Barbie and the Women’s World Cup over the last few months, it’s an exciting time for women,” said WGEA CEO Mary Wooldridge. “But as the Matildas have highlighted, they, like many other women, are still having to step over barriers related to their gender to achieve success.

“The 56 extra days that women have to work to earn the same, on average, as men, shows us that these barriers are still significant in Australian workplaces. “It means that women are missing out on 13 cents, on average, for every $1 that a man makes.

“Currently at 13%, the gender pay gap in Australia is a persistent and pervasive issue that undermines women’s earnings.”

From 2024, WGEA will publish the gender pay gap for employers with a workforce of 100 or more employees. WGEA is encouraging employers to conduct a gender pay gap analysis and understand what’s driving the differential.

“When it comes to the gender pay gap, you cannot fix what isn’t being measured,” Ms Wooldridge added. “Publishing gender pay gaps is part of a much-needed, targeted strategy to tackle gender inequality through increased transparency and action.

“An employers’ gender pay gap can have an impact on their recruitment, retention and reputation. For example, in the UK, which publishes employer gender pay gaps, women looking for work have been willing to accept a cut in salary to avoid an employer with a big gender pay gap.

“Today’s Equal Pay Day is a call to action for all employers to build on this moment by taking the time to find out what steps they need to take to support greater gender equality in their own workplace.”

Media contact: Lucy Bradlow, Communications & Campaigns Executive Manager

About the Agency

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) is an Australian Government statutory agency charged with promoting and improving gender equality in Australian workplaces. Explore the gender equality data for your industry or employer at www.wgea.gov.au

Learn more about the gender pay gap

We know the gender pay gap can be confusing. This page explains what it is, and what it is not. 

Need the mathematical details? This page explains the gender pay gap calculation and why you sometimes see different numbers. 

In 2024, WGEA will publish employer gender pay gaps. Find out what you can do to close the gap in your business.