National gender pay gap is now 14.0%

Equal Pay Day will be 28 August 2020

The new national gender pay gap for the six months to May 2020 is 14.0%. This year, Equal Pay Day will be on 28 August 2020, marking the 59 additional days from the end of the previous financial year that women, on average, must work to earn the same as men earnt that year.

Using the latest Average Weekly Earnings seasonally adjusted series data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) has calculated the national gender pay gap as 14.0% for full-time employees, a difference of $253.60 per week.

WGEA Director Libby Lyons said that the COVID-19 crisis has had a disproportionate impact on women. “Data would suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected women and men differently. More Australian women than men have lost their jobs since COVID-19 struck. A number of female-dominated industries have suffered the worst of the job losses. All the evidence we have suggests that COVID 19 is seriously jeopardising women’s long-term economic and financial security and workforce participation.

“This is why I am again urging employers to ensure that gender equality is a top business priority in their organisations. I know many employers are doing it tough right now. However, it is critical that the COVID-19 crisis does not see a decline in the many gains we have all worked so hard to achieve over the last few years, such as more women in leadership roles. Women now comprise 39.4% of all managers in WGEA’s dataset.

“Over the period of the GFC, our last economic downturn, the gender pay gap shot up 2.0 percentage points from 15.6% in November 2007 to 17.6% in November 2009. It took us 10 years to bring that pay gap back down to where it is today. We cannot afford to see a repeat of this as we face our first economic recession in almost 30 years. It will be a disaster for the economy and a calamity for Australian women.

“Gender equality IS good for business. The 2020 Gender Equity Insights Report we recently released in collaboration with the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC) proved beyond all doubt that more gender-balanced leadership in an organisation delivers better company performance, improved productivity and greater profitability. We now know categorically that gender equality is a commercial imperative and provides organisations with a competitive edge over their business rivals. This report shows that reverting to previous work habits and ways is not an option. Gender equality is central to our economic recovery. Women and men must have an equal opportunity to re-engage and participate in the workforce as we move into the recovery phase.

“Pursuing improved gender equality outcomes in Australian workplaces is also one of the fastest ways to close this nation’s persistent gender pay gap. This Equal Pay Day, I implore all Australian employers to not only continue the drive but to step up the action for gender quality. Addressing pay equity and ensuring the work of female employees is valued and rewarded equitably is a great place to start,” she said.

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.

Key facts

  • The national gender pay gap is 14.0%.
  • On average, women working full-time earned $1558.40 while men working full-time earned $1812.00.
  • Full-time average weekly earnings difference between women and men is $253.60.

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