Full-time gender pay gap "trending down" but women still earning just 78 percent of men's full-time earnings, report finds

- November 20, 2017 2 MIN READ

The full-time gender pay gap may be “trending down”, but men still take home an average of $26,527 more than women each year, according to the latest gender equality scorecard from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA).

Covering four million employees across more than 11,000 employers, WGEA data from 2016-17 found women earn, on average, just 78 percent of men’s full time earnings, with men earning up to $89,216 more at the top level of management.

Libby Lyons, WGEA director, said, “In Australia today, men still out earn women in every industry and across all occupations. This is not about women’s choices: whether you are a manager, a scientist, a butcher, a baker or even a TV presenter, there is a gender pay gap favouring men.”

However, the report found the number of organisations with manager KPIs related to gender equality grew five percent, while the number of employers analysing their pay data for gender pay gaps also grew by almost 11 percent to reach 37.7 percent.

More than half the organisations who conducted a pay gap analysis reported taking action as a result.

Almost 59 percent of organisations surveyed also stated they have a formal policy or strategy on remuneration, an increase of over 5 percent in the last year; of those organisations, the number with pay equity objectives in their policy or strategy has reached 36.3 percent, double what it was in 2013-14.

Looking at various industries, WGEA found the pay gap is the worst in the financial and insurance services sector at 31.9 percent, though this is declining year on year, with organisations in this sector found the most likely to conduct a gender pay gap analysis. On the flip side, the gap in the rental, hiring, and real estate services space has increased.

With the proportion of women in the space sitting at 38.4 percent, the gender pay gap in the information media and telecommunications sector has decreased from 23.5 percent in 2015-16 to 22.7 percent. However, the number of women in management positions decreased 0.3 points to 32.1 percent.

The number of women in management positions overall is growing, with 43.4 percent of manager appointments going to women. However, women still make up just 38.4 percent of all managers, and hold 16.5 percent of CEO roles and 29.7 percent of key management personnel roles.

Representation of women on boards is also low, sitting steady at 24.9 percent.

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