Women typically earn $250.50 a week less than men

| May 22, 2012

Australia’s working women earn 17.4 per cent less than their male colleagues, based on new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The average weekly earnings of women working full-time is $1,186.90 per week or $250.50 per week less than men, who earned an average weekly wage of $1,437.40 per week. Over the course of a year, this difference would add up to $13,026.

Western Australia has the largest gender pay gap at 258% while the ACT has the lowest at 12 per cent.

The gender pay gap was 17.6 per cent in November 2011 and has consistently hovered around 15-18% over the last two decades.

Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) director Helen Conway said the lack of progress in closing the gender pay gap means the case for concerted action on pay equity is clear.

“It is intolerable to think that the career and financial prospects of a girl born today will be less than those of a boy,” she said.

“When we consider the impact of the gender pay gap on women’s superannuation, it is little wonder that women are two and a half times more likely to live in poverty in their old age than men.”

While pay equity is a matter of fairness, Conway also noted broader economic imperatives.

“The gender pay gap is a disincentive to women’s participation in the workforce. In a time of significant skills shortages and with productivity levels in decline, it makes good business sense and is in our national interest to eliminate this disincentive to full workforce participation.

“Organisations can start by doing a payroll analysis to determine if they have a gender pay gap. They can ask themselves whether working flexibly in their organisation limits a person’s career. They can also examine whether their workplaces contain stereotypes and embedded bias in job design, evaluation and remuneration processes,” Conway said.

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