WGEA Scorecard 2022: The state of gender equality in Australia

The WGEA Gender Equality Scorecard

The 9th annual WGEA Gender Equality Scorecard is based on employer reports submitted in accordance with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012. Under the Act, non-public sector employers with 100 or more employees must submit their gender equality metrics to WGEA annually. 

The 2022 WGEA Scorecard is our biggest ever. It is based on 4,795 employer reports covering 4,483,123 employees for the period 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022. 

It includes the latest figures on: 

  • the gender pay gap
  • workforce participation
  • representation in leadership 
  • employer actions to improve gender equality 

Download the full scorecard:

Key findings

 The 2022 WGEA Gender Equality Scorecard shines a light on workplace gender equality in Australia. And what it shows us is that progress has stalled.

Australia needs to pick up the pace on workplace gender equality.

The current state of workplace gender equality

Australia's gender pay gap is 22.8%. Women, on average earn, $26,596 less than men each year.

Men are twice as likely to be in the top earning bracket and women are 1.5 times more likely to be in the lowest.

Every single industry in Australia has a gender pay gap that favours men. And the gender pay gap has increased in eight industries this year. 

Click on the chart below to see how your industry has increased or decreased the gender pay gap over time. 

A closer look at Australian workplaces

Employers are missing an opportunity. Research shows that more women in key decision-making positions contributes to improved company performance. And yet our 2022 employer reports shows women are still under-represented in leadership and men are 1.5 times more likely to hold managerial positions.

  • 22.3% of CEOS are women
  • Only 20% of boards have gender balance.
  • 22.3% of boards are ALL men

More than half of all Australians work in an industry dominated by one gender. This has not changed since 2018. Health Care and Social Assistance, as well as Education and Training continue to be female-dominated while Mining, Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services, Construction and Manufacturing all have more than 75% men working in them.

In male-dominated industries, most employees work full-time while in female dominated industries, the majority of employees work part-time. This also reflects the overall patterns of work for women. Our Employer Census show 42% of women work full time, compared to 67% of men.

Only 1 in 4 orgs have a gender-balanced leadership team. People in a boardroom looking at graphs on a whiteboard.

How have employers taken action on gender equality?

Employer action is key to speeding up the pace of change for workplace gender equality. 

For Australia to improve workplace gender equality, more workplaces need to understand their gender pay gap, measure it and then set targets to take appropriate action to reduce it. 

Just over half (54%) of employers conducted a gender pay gap analysis this year. Of those, 40% took no action as a result. 

WGEA's 2022 employer census contained a voluntary question that asked businesses whether they set targets to improve workplace gender equality. A little more than half (53%) of the employers filing reports said they had set targets. The most popular goal was to increase the number of women in leadership. Employers were less likely to set targets to increase the number of men taking parental leave or to increase the number of men in female dominated roles. 

Flexibility has become increasingly important to employees, with most employers (82%0 now installing a formal policy on flexibility. Remote working and flexible hours were the most popular options with employers less likely to offer a compressed working week or job sharing.

 

More employers now offer employer-funded paid parental leave and 92% of those offer it equally to men and women. However, few employers (24%) have yet to take the next step to remove 'primary' and 'secondary' carer labels, ensuring the entitlement is truly gender-neutral. 

Men now account for 13% of all paid primary carer's leave taken. While this is only a 1% increase from last year, we saw a meaningful increase in male managers accessing paid leave - an effective first step in role modelling. 

A majority of employers now have a formal policy or strategy to support employees experiencing family or domestic violence. The number of employers offering paid domestic violence leave is just 47.5%.

How can employers use this data?

Employers can access the data from the 2022 Gender Equality Scorecard and deeper breakdowns on company and industry performance, on WGEA’s Data Explorer. This information can then be used to benchmark their performance by industry.

Using this information, companies can then look to take action and improve areas where they may be falling behind on workplace gender equality.  

Keep the conversation going

Compare your results to other employers and industries with the WGEA Data Explorer.

Gender equality is good for business. Find out how you can take action in your business starting today.

These employers lead the way on workplace gender equality in Australia. Find out why. 

Download our social media images

Australia's gender pay gap is 22.8% Exactly the same as last year. Isn't it time for change? Man standing on bigger pile of coins than a woman.
The glass ceiling isn't broken. Woman trying to break glass ceiling with a coin while 2 people look on.
4,749 orgs submitted reports in WGEA's 2022 census 52% conducted a pay gap audit Of those 57% acted on it. People with clipboards pointing at graphs.
Let's talk about gender equality. Lady in wheelchair with a man holding a clipboard, they are looking at a lady pointing to a dartboard.
Only 1 in 4 orgs have a gender-balanced leadership team. People in a boardroom looking at graphs on a whiteboard.
Man and woman ticking items on a clipboard. Setting targets and committing to actions is central to achieving gender equality.
What more can you do to build a gender equal workplace? Lady pointing on items on the wall with a big yellow megaphone.