Narrowing the gender pay gap in mid-sized companies

| March 8, 2018

In Australia, the average woman earns $26,000 less per annum than her male counterpart.

Data released by the Australian Workplace Gender Equality Agency in late 2017 shows that men outearn women across every industry, including female dominant occupations like nursing and childcare.

Despite an international push for change, the gap at home is widening, sitting 0.9 percent higher in 2017 than it was in 2016. This year, only 120 out of the 5,000 or so eligible Australian businesses were identified as an employer of choice when it comes to gender equality.

According to Human Resources specialist Simon Corcoran, part of the reason the gender pay gap is increasing is that many businesses do not even know where to start when it comes to gender equality.

“Creating lasting gender equality is not simply a matter of giving women a raise. It is about creating an inclusive workplace where women have the opportunity to deliver, perform and progress within the company.

The problem is that many businesses have no idea how to identify the gender pay gap within their business. They are also unclear on what steps they need to take to level the playing field for the long term. Even with plenty of data at their fingertips, they don’t understand how to use and interpret it.”

The following steps can begin the process to improve gender pay equity across businesses of all sizes:

  • Create a data-driven narrative in the organisation that analyses trends over periods of time

  • Create a formal policy and strategy covering recruitment, retention, talent identification, training and performance management

  • Promote flexible working and encourage managers to discuss flexible solutions with their team

  • Implement systems and processes which actively reduce gender bias

  • Assign a committee to oversee gender equality strategy and to raise awareness of the benefits of diversity across the business