Gender pay gap data

How big is the gender pay gap?

The WGEA total remuneration average gender pay gap is 21.7%. For every $1 on average a man makes, women earn 78c. Over the course of a year, that difference adds up to $26,393.

The 21.7% gender pay gap includes base salary, overtime, bonuses and additional payments for private sector employees. It also includes the annualised full time equivalent salaries of casual and part time workers. All this salary data comes directly from employers as part of WGEA’s annual Employer Census. Under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012, all Australian employers with 100 or more employees must report their gender equality data to WGEA annually.

Using this information, WGEA also calculates a median gender pay gap. This currently stands at 19%. 

A ‘median’ is the middle of a set of numbers. A median gender pay gap is found by lining up the pay of every man in a business in order of smallest to largest and finding the middle number in that dataset. The same is done for the pay of women in that business. A median employer gender pay gap is the difference between the median of what a man is paid and the median of what a woman is paid within the organisation.

Unlike the average, the median is not skewed by extreme values (CEO remuneration, for example), giving us a picture of typical earnings that exist within an organisation.

Employer gender pay gap data

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) published base salary and total remuneration median gender pay gaps for private sector employers in Australia with 100 or more employees on 27 February 2024. 

The results show that:

  • 30% of employers have a median gender pay gap between the target range of -5% and +5%.
  • 62% of median employer gender pay gaps are over 5% and in favour of men.
  • The rest (8%) are less than -5% and in favour of women.
  • Across all employers, 50% have a gender pay gap of over 9.1%.

The individual employer gender pay gaps can be found on WGEA's Data Explorer

Commonwealth public sector gender pay gap

The current total remuneration average gender pay gap for the Commonwealth public sector is 13.5%. On average, women employed in the Commonwealth public sector earn 86 cents for every dollar men earn. This adds up to women earning, on average, $19,007 less than men each year. 

In 2022, 50% of Commonwealth public sector employers had a gender pay gap larger than 6.9%. WGEA will release employer gender pay gaps for Commonwealth public sector employers in early 2025. 

What about the ABS gender pay gap data?

Twice a year, WGEA also calculates the national gender pay gap using the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Survey of Average Weekly Earnings.

This data shows the base salary gender pay gap is 12%.

The gender pay gaps are different because of the way ‘pay’ is measured in the datasets.

The ABS data is base salary, for full-time workers. This means it excludes overtime, bonuses and additional payments. It also excludes the salaries of part-time and casual workers. 

Get more gender pay gap statistics

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

Key findings from WGEA Employer Census including the total remuneration gender pay gap, women in leadership and employer actions on workplace gender equality.  

Learn all about the gender pay gap equation and what counts as 'pay'.