A world of difference for gender equality

In the last ten years, gender equality has become a growing priority for businesses and governments across the globe. The maxim ‘what gets measured gets managed’ is truly accepted now.

Earlier this month the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) released a report that takes you on a journey across the world, exploring the different reporting schemes countries use track the progress of gender equality in the workplace.

The paper, International Gender Equality Reporting Schemes, found that there are broadly five different types of gender reporting schemes, requiring organisations to report on different parameters.

  1. Comprehensive – reporting on employee remuneration and gender equality policies: Australia
    Organisations in Australia have to submit data on six Gender Equality Indicators to a federal Agency (WGEA). The Agency calculates gender pay gaps and publishes aggregated gender pay gaps.

  2. Transparency – reporting on organisational-wide gender pay gaps: United Kingdom
    Organisations in the UK have to calculate and then publish different gender pay gaps on a government website.

  3. Legislation – organisations receive certification when specific standards are met: Iceland
    Organisations in Iceland have to comply with an ‘equal pay standard’ to receive certification.

  4. Transparency and accountability – reporting on organisational gender pay gaps, actions and accountability: France
    Organisations in France have to calculate and publish gender pay gaps and demonstrate actions to close gender pay gaps.

  5. Limited external transparency – gender pay gap reporting within organisations: Belgium, Austria, Germany
    Organisations in European Countries have to calculate and publish their gender pay gaps to internal work councils.

While these schemes are all different, they share four common attributes:

  1. Organisations must take action on gender inequality;
  2. The data is collected by gender;
  3. The numbers are crunched and important insights are revealed; and
  4. To some extent, there is transparency with the gender data.

The Australian model is unique in comparison to the other reporting schemes. Australia is the only country that requires employers to submit their raw numbers to a central authority, WGEA. 

WGEA uses standardised calculations, employs stringent data checks to ensure accuracy and publicly distributes aggregated organisational data. This ensures that the statistics published are fair representation of the status of gender equality within a significant proportion of the Australian labour force.

The research also provides a snapshot of the gender pay gap* from different countries. However, directly comparing international gender pay gaps is difficult due to differences in sources, definitions and methods used to calculate the gender pay gap.

Read the full report below for the full details of each different type of reporting scheme and what each country calculates as their gender pay gap.

* Remember – the ‘gender pay gap’ and ‘equal pay’ are not the same thing.

Read the full report

This paper gives an overview of countries that have gender equality reporting schemes as well as information about a number of different models that are currently in use throughout the world.