Gender pay gap

A gender pay gap is the difference between women’s and men’s earnings, expressed as a percentage of men’s earnings.

 

 

WGEA data

The WGEA collects pay data annually from non-public sector organisations with 100 or more employees, covering about 4 million employees in Australia, including superannuation, bonuses and other additional payments.

The full-time total remuneration gender pay gap based on the 2017-18 WGEA data is 21.3%, meaning men working full-time earn $25,717 on average a year more than women working full-time. The full-time base salary gender pay gap for 2017-18 is 16.2%, which means that men working full-time earned $15,457 on average more than women.

Gender pay gaps are calculated across the WGEA dataset by industry, and by management and non-management occupational categories.

ABS and WGEA data both show a gender pay gap favouring full-time working men over full-time working women in every industry and occupational category in Australia.

 

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Causes of the gender pay gap 

The gender pay gap is influenced by a number of factors, including:

  • discrimination and bias in hiring and pay decisions
  • women and men working in different industries and different jobs, with female-dominated industries and jobs attracting lower wages
  • women’s disproportionate share of unpaid caring and domestic work
  • lack of workplace flexibility to accommodate caring and other responsibilities, especially in senior roles
  • women’s greater time out of the workforce impacting career progression and opportunities.

The gender pay gap starts from the time women enter the workforce. The pay gap, together with time out of the workforce for caring reasons and women’s higher likelihood of part-time work, impacts on their lifetime economic security.

Pay gaps within organisations

The WGEA encourages organisations to analyse their own pay data in different ways to uncover different pay equity issues and take action at all levels of the organisation. The Agency has developed a variety of resources to help employers undertake a pay gap analysis and address gender pay gaps in their organisations.

Like-for-like gaps Pay gaps between women and men undertaking work of equal or comparable value (comparing jobs at the same performance standard), for example, comparing two senior engineers in the same organisation.
By-level gaps Pay gaps between women and men doing the same or comparable work (comparing responsibilities, typically the same level in the organisational hierarchy), for example, comparing individuals within groupings of levels such as Key Management Personnel, managers, professionals.
Organisation-wide (or department-wide) Organisation-wide (or department-wide)
Gender pay gap which is the difference between the average remuneration of women and the average remuneration of men across the whole organisation (or department).

 

 

The national gender pay gap

The national gender pay gap is calculated by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) using data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Currently, Australia’s national gender pay gap is 14.6%, the lowest level in 20 years. It had previously hovered between 15% and 19% for the past two decades.

The national gender pay gap is the difference between women’s and men’s average weekly full-time base salary earnings, expressed as a percentage of men’s earnings. It is a measure of women’s overall position in the paid workforce and does not compare like roles.

International gender pay gaps 

Gender pay gaps are an internationally established measure of women’s position in the economy. Directly comparing international gender pay gaps is problematic due to differences in sources, definitions and methods used to calculate the gender pay gap in different countries. However, it is clear that gender pay gaps in favour of men are a common feature of economies world-wide.

 

 

Access the resources below for more information about the gender pay gap and how to address it:

 

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The national gender pay gap is calculated by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) using data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Currently, Australia’s national gender pay gap is 14.6%, the lowest level in 20 years. It had previously hovered between 15% and 19% for the past two decades.

The national gender pay gap is the difference between women’s and men’s average weekly full-time base salary earnings, expressed as a percentage of men’s earnings. It is a measure of women’s overall position in the paid workforce and does not compare like roles.