Gender workplace statistics at a glance 2021

Overview

Using the latest data from Australian government sources, including WGEA and the ABS, this fact sheet provides the latest update of the gender workplace statistics.

 

Workforce participation

  • Women comprise 47.2% of all employed persons in Australia; 25.8% of all employed persons are women working full-time, and 21.4% are working part-time [1].
  • Women constitute 37.9% of all full-time employees and 67.2% of all part-time employees [2].
  • The workforce participation rate** is 61.2% for women[3] and 71.2% for men (61.4% for women and 70.9% for men in February 2020) [4].
  • The workforce participation rate among those aged 15-64 years is 61.2% for women (74.5% in February 2020) and 71.2% for men (83.1% in February 2020) [5].

**The workforce participation rate relates to active population, all people aged 15 years and over who are working or looking for work (i.e. employed or unemployed). 

The February 2020 ABS dataset represents the period before the impacts of the COVID19 pandemic. 

Economic security

  • The full-time average weekly ordinary earnings[6] for women are 13.4% less than for men [7].
  • Among non-public sector organisations with 100 or more employees, the gender pay gap for full-time annualised base salary is 15.0%, and 20.1% for full-time annualised total remuneration [8].
  • The adult full-time average hourly ordinary time cash earnings[9] for non-managerial women are 11.4% less than for non-managerial men [10].
  • The median undergraduate starting salaries for women are 2.5% less than for men. This gap widens 13.0% for postgraduate (coursework) graduates [11].
  • Median superannuation balances for women at retirement (aged 60-64) are 21.6% lower than those for men [12].
  • 55.1% of people receiving the aged pension are women [13].

Educational attainment

  • Of all women aged 20-24, 92.5% have attained year 12 qualifications or above, compared to 87.5% of men in the same age bracket [14]. Of all women aged 25-29, 48.3% have achieved a bachelor degree or above, compared to 36.1% of similarly-aged men [15].
  • Women represent 58.7% of domestic students enrolled in universities or other institutions. This has risen from 57.6% in 2007 ([16].

Of all organisations in the Agency’s 2019-20 dataset:

  • 52.4% provide primary carer’s leave in addition to the Federal Government’s paid parental leave scheme.
  • 46.4% provide secondary carer’s leave in addition to the Federal Government’s paid parental leave scheme [17].

Women in leadership

Latest results from the Agency’s 2019-20 dataset show:

  • Women hold 14.6% of chair positions and 28.1% of directorships [18], and represent 18.3% of CEOs and 32.5% of key management personnel [19].
  • 30.2% of boards and governing bodies have no female directors [20]. By contrast, only 0.4% had no male directors [21].

Real-time statistics from the Australian Institute of Company Directors reveal:

  • 32.6% of directors in the ASX 200 are women [21].
  • Women comprised 45.5% of new appointments to ASX 200 boards [21].

 


References

  1. Part-time refers to all employed persons who usually worked less than 35 hours a week and either did so during the reference week or did not work that week. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2021), Labour Force, Australia, January 2021, cat. no. 6202.0, viewed 19 February 2021, https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/employment-and-unemployment/labour-force-australia/latest-release#data-downloads.

  2. Ibid.

  3. Participation rate is the sum of the employed and unemployed divided by total population from age 15 onwards.

  4. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2021), Labour Force, Australia, January 2021, cat. no. 6202.0, viewed 25 February 2021, https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/employment-and-unemployment/labour-force-australia/latest-release#data-downloads.

  5. Ibid.

  6. Ordinary time earnings used comprise regular wages and salaries in cash, excluding amounts salary sacrificed. For more information refer to: https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/employment-and-unemployment/labour-force-australia/latest-release#data-downloads.

  7. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2021), Average Weekly Earnings, November 2020, cat. no. 6302.0,  viewed 25 February 2021, https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/employment-and-unemployment/labour-force-australia/latest-release#data-downloads.

  8. Workplace Gender Equality Agency (2021), WGEA Data Explorer, Gender pay gaps (average), viewed 25 February 2021, https://data.wgea.gov.au/industries/1#pay_equity_content.           

  9. Cash earnings used comprise regular wages and salaries in cash, including amounts salary sacrificed. Estimates of hourly cash earnings have only been produced for employees with a link between earnings and hours. For more information, refer to http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/6306.0.

  10. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2019), Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2018, cat. no. 6306.0, viewed 13 August 2020, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/6306.0.

  11. Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) (2020), Graduate Outcome Survey National, data visualisation national report 2020 page 2, accessed 19 February 2020, https://app.powerbi.com/view?r=eyJrIjoiM2ZjOTkxNGQtMzc5NS00YjZmLWE5MTctYjlhZjY2ZTZmNGRkIiwidCI6IjBhNGQ1MDgwLTUxNWMtNDVlNi1hN2FiLTFiZjI1OTZhNTY0OCJ9

  12. Figure calculated using data from Australian Taxation Office (ATO) (2020), Taxation Statistics 2017-18: Snapshot Table 5: Chart 12: Median super account balance by age and sex, 2017-18 financial year, viewed 13 August 2020, https://data.gov.au/data/dataset/taxation-statistics-2017-18/resource/37e6a189-3410-440d-9d91-1e98d01c1732?view_id=9515a598-a0ab-437e-89f8-be238c37d5b1.

  13. DSS Demographics September 2020 excel file viewed 25 February 2021 (file was last updated 3 August 2020, https://data.gov.au/dataset/dss-payment-demographic-data.

  14. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2020), Gender Indicators, Australia, Nov 2019, ‘Table 4.1: Attainment of Year 12 or a formal qualification of Certificate II or above by age, 2007 to 2017’, data cube: Excel spreadsheet, cat. No. 4125.0, viewed 13 August 2020, https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/4125.0Nov%202019?OpenDocument.

  15. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2020), Gender Indicators, Australia, Nov 2019, ‘Table 4.5: Attainment of a Bachelor Degree or above by age, 2007 to 2017’, data cube: Excel spreadsheet, cat. No. 4125.0, viewed 13 August 2020, https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/4125.0Nov%202019?OpenDocument

  16. Australian Government Department of Education and Training (2020), 2019 reference period, viewed 13 August 2020, http://highereducationstatistics.education.gov.au/. This dataset noted that students who did not want their gender recorded as male or female were counted as female (see Australian Government Department of Education and Training (2020), Notes on the data), viewed 13 August 2020, http://highereducationstatistics.education.gov.au/DataNotes.aspx

  17. Workplace Gender Equality Agency (2021), WGEA Data Explorer, Support for carers & paid parental leave, viewed 25 February 2021, https://data.wgea.gov.au/industries/1#carers_content.

  18. Workplace Gender Equality Agency (2021), WGEA Data Explorer, Governing bodies, viewed 25 February 2021, https://data.wgea.gov.au/industries/1#governing_bodies_content.

  19. Workplace Gender Equality Agency (2021), WGEA Data Explorer, Workforce composition, viewed 25 February 2021,                  https://data.wgea.gov.au/industries/1#gender_comp_content.

  20. Workplace Gender Equality Agency (2020), Australia’s Gender Equality Scorecard 2019-20, viewed 25 February 2021, https://www.wgea.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2019-20%20Gender%20Equality%20Scorecard_FINAL.pdf.

  21. Australian Institute of Company Directors Statistics (2021), as at 15 January 2021, viewed 25 February 2021,                  http://aicd.companydirectors.com.au/advocacy/board-diversity/we-have-reached-a-milestone-for-female-directors and  http://aicd.companydirectors.com.au/advocacy/board-diversity/statistics.