Data shows action speaks louder than words

The latest WGEA data confirms that when Australian employers take action- the gender pay gap declines. Five years of WGEA data shows that year-on-year employer action to address pay equity has increased and year-on-year the gender pay gap has decreased.

It is clear that employer actions are making a difference; unfortunately our data has uncovered a serious action gap in Australian workplaces.

The fifth year of data demonstrates an ongoing trend: there is a disconnect between organisations committing to gender equality and taking real action to address the issues. 

We refer to this disconnect as the ‘action gap’. For example:

  • More than one in two employers (58.4%) do not analyse their pay data for gender pay gaps.
  • Over 70% of employers have a policy or strategy to support gender equality, but only just over 30% have manager KPIs related to gender equality.
  • Only a small number of organisations (17.9%) that conducted a gender pay gap analysis are actually reporting pay equity metrics up to the boards and governing bodies.
  • 41.5% of employers who did a pay gap analysis took no action to address it.
  • Over 70% of employers have a policy or strategy to promote flexible work, but only one in four (27.0%) provided manager training on flexible work and only 24.7% provided employee training throughout the organisation.  

One positive trend that has emerged is that the data shows organisations are prioritising gender equality in their workplaces more than ever.

There has been strong growth in the implementation of gender equality policies and strategies. And employers that conduct a pay equity analysis continues to rise.

It is clear from the data that actions speak louder than words in achieving genuine change in the workplace. Organisations must do more than simply codify good intentions. Change requires action and accountability from the top-down.

Gender equality: five years of progress