Gender pay gap grows

September 12, 2021 BY

Women’s Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West CEO Emma Mahoney says pay audits are important to bring about change and address the growing gender pay gap.

BARWON South West gender equality advocates say it’s time to start conversations about the gender pay gap and have urged employees to be part of the solution.

The Australian Government Workplace Gender Equality Agency has released new statistics that show the national gender pay gap has risen by a further 0.8 percentage points over the past six months, to 14.2 per cent.

Figures indicate that Australian women would have to work an extra 61 days to earn the same annual pay as men.

In dollar figures this means women are earning $261.50 per week less on average than men.

Women’s Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West CEO Emma Mahoney said the figures were concerning and unfortunately not surprising, but they were a call to action.

“It has been known for a very long time that women are underpaid when compared to men in the workforce and that female-dominated industries are undervalued,” Emma said.

“These figures confirm this, and shine a light on the pervasive issue of the different value we attribute to men and women in our society.

“Let this be a call to action, because there is a solution – and it lies in changing our attitudes and reviewing and updating our policies.”

Emma said pay audits helped employers identify and address discriminatory pay, to ensure that women were equally compensated and valued.

Overall, women’s average full-time wages are lower than men’s across every industry and occupation in Australia.

Based on current trends, it will take 26 years to close the total remuneration gender pay gap.

“This is clearly not acceptable and is a whole-of-society problem, and one we must all tackle together,” Emma said.

“Let’s start having conversations about the gender pay gap for what it is – gender pay discrimination – and then work together to eliminate it.

“Australian women earn less, retire on less, have less superannuation and are more likely to face homelessness later in life as a result of this.

“Addressing the gender pay gap is fundamental to tackling the issue of women’s economic security and improving their overall experience of life.”

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