Equal Pay Day Campaign: Gender Pay Gap Illogical

A new Equal Pay Day campaign launched today by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) challenges employers to investigate what isn't adding up in their workplace to drive a reduction in their gender pay gap.

WGEA also announced the date for this year's Equal Pay Day as 19 August, marking the 50 days into the new financial year that Australian women must work to earn the same, on average, as men did last year.

"Barriers of bias, discrimination and entrenched gender stereotypes undervalue women and their work and drive the persistent gender pay gap," WGEA CEO Mary Wooldridge said.

"A national gender pay gap of 12% means that women are paid 12 cents less, on average, for every $1 a man makes - it doesn't add up or align with the Australian values of equality and a 'fair go' for all.

"This year WGEA's Equal Pay Day campaign theme 'It Doesn't Add Up' is a call to action for employers to contribute to improving workplace gender equality by investigating and understanding the environment in their own workplace."

The campaign will run for 50 days, until Equal Pay Day on 19th August.

WGEA research has identified gender discrimination (36%), care, family responsibilities and workforce participation (33%), and gender segregation by job type and industry (24%), as the three main contributors to Australia's gender pay gap.

Ms Wooldridge said there are many things employers can do to ensure workplaces equally value and reward the work of all employees.

"The first step employers should take is to understand their gender pay gap by doing a gender pay gap analysis," Ms Wooldridge said.

"This will help them to identify the areas where inequality fuels the gender pay gap.

"In doing this analysis, employers need to look further than finding and correcting instances of unequal pay to also investigating areas of gender imbalance. When they find these imbalances, such as men dominating manager roles, they should ask what policies or practices are contributing to them."

"This could include a lack for flexibility in senior roles or a slim pipeline of women joining and progressing in an occupational area."

"Employers can then develop and execute a gender equality action plan to address each of their specific drivers."

"An employers' gender pay gap can have an impact on recruitment, retention and reputation. Equal Pay Day is a call to action. All employers can identify opportunities for improvement and have an action plan that supports greater gender equality in their workplace."


About the national gender pay gap

The national gender pay gap measures the difference between the average weekly full-time base salary earnings of women and men, 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.

What is the difference between the gender pay gap and equal pay?

Equal pay is the concept of women and men being paid the same for performing the same role or different work of equal or comparable value. In Australia, this has been a legal requirement since 1969. The gender pay gap is different to equal pay.

How is Equal Pay Day calculated?

WGEA uses the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) average weekly earnings trend data to calculate the number of days after the end of financial year that women have to work to be paid the same as the average man. This is called Equal Pay Day.

The February 2024 ABS reported average weekly earnings for men working full time was $1,982.80. Women earnt $1,744.80 per week on average. That's a difference $238 every week and $12,376 every year. At the average rate of pay for women, this is the equivalent of over seven weeks additional work (50 days).

It's important to note these figures are base salary and full-time employees only. They do not include bonuses, superannuation or overtime - which men are more likely to earn - or the salaries of Australians working part-time.

About the Agency

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) is an Australian Government statutory agency charged with promoting and improving gender equality in Australian workplaces.

Explore the gender equality data for your industry or employer at www.wgea.gov.au

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