There are many reasons why Australia’s financial services industry has one of the biggest gender pay gaps but one of them appears to be turning a blind eye to the problem.
According to a new report titled, The Gender Perception Divide: from Inuit QuickBooks almost 1 in 2 male accountants believe there is no gender pay gap in their profession.
The research uncovered that the gender equality and pay parity for many female accountants stagnates over time and widens the pay gap – and what can be done to address it.
This is not a good look for the financial services industry or for the accountancy profession which has been trying to get more women working across the industry and engaging with their finances.
On the other hand, the report also signals that a lot more work is needed at the business and membership level to change internal and external perception on pay.
Key research findings:
- 43% of men disagree with the statement that there is a gender pay gap in the accounting profession.
- 4 in 5 women believing that a gender pay gap exists compared to almost 1.5 in 5 men
- 1 in 3 women indicated they are uncomfortable negotiating with their employer, compared to 1 in 6 men.
- 53% of women believe their progression towards leadership has been impacted by some form of gender bias, while 80% of men said they had not experienced any form of gender bias in their progression to leadership.
- 68% of surveyed women believe there are barriers for women to advance to leadership; by contrast, 32% of men agree with that statement, and 49% of men actively disagree.
Shaye Thyer, Head of Accounting at Intuit said, “The research clearly demonstrates a disconnect between male and female perceptions of the gender pay gap and opportunities for female advisors to advance their careers. This is something that must be addressed.
“Now is the time for firms to act upon the enormous opportunities presented by supporting women and other groups in the workplace,” says Mr Thyer.
“My hope is that leaders in the industry will take the findings of this report to heart and take real action – and make real changes – to ensure equal pay and access to leadership for all, for the betterment of our industry as a whole.”
Further, only 1 in 5 respondents indicated their firms conduct analyses to review their remuneration between male and female employees.
Joe Consedine, General Manager, Member Engagement at Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand said, “While it may reveal uncomfortable numbers, it is crucial that accounting firms undertake a gender pay audit.
“To support our members to tackle this issue head on, we are committed to tracking and reporting on the gender pay gap every year and are providing a range of practical resources and tools including a dedicated playbook.”
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