We often hear about the gender pay gap. But is it really as simple as two people working side by side being paid differently?
The story of Amelia and William illustrates how the gender pay gap emerges and grows over the course of typical working lives. And while this story is fictional, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) data shows that this scenario is very real for many women and men.
This story explores two people with identical beginnings and how their lives and bank balances take very different paths.
It shows that the gender pay gap is not a static figure, but a compounding issue that starts for Amelia at graduation and ends at retirement, where she has significantly less savings than William.
Meanwhile, William struggles with his rigid work structure, is unable to work flexibly and misses out on time with his family.
Data shows that gender pay gaps are a persistent feature of Australia’s economy. Different patterns of paid and unpaid work for women and men, lack of workplace flexibility and industry and occupational segregation are all contributing factors.
WGEA data shows that some of the gender-related barriers women and men experience in the workplace include:
- Different outcomes in pay negotiation
- Segregation in roles and occupations
- Access to parental leave
- Support for working flexibly
- Balancing career progression with caring responsibilities.
These factors all contribute to the life-long gender pay gap between Amelia and William – and Australia’s persistent gender pay gap.
The good news is, more Australian employers are recognising the benefits of improving gender equality to attract and retain the best people for the job, reduce staff turnover and enhance organisational performance.
And there are actions everyone can take to improve gender equality in their own lives.
Watch the video, share it, and begin a discussion about how things could be different in your home or workplace to support gender equality.