Shifting the gender equity dial in terms of pay, which leads to better retirement equity and greater financial independence, cannot begin and end in audits and data alone. But self-reflection is an ideal place to start.
The gender pay gap is a multifaceted issue that requires a collective response from businesses, government, and society.
While this quarter’s Financy Women’s Index shows a 0.2 point improvement compared to March, the truth is that our nation’s gender pay gap unfortunately remains a glaring symbol of inequality and leads to a widening gender retirement gap.
Employers have a role to play, beyond providing equal pay for the same roles. Business leaders have an opportunity to drive meaningful change by understanding and improving internal practices but also helping to improve the financial literacy and wellbeing of their employees.
Why? Because CEOs and industry leaders have a unique vantage point from which to influence societal norms. For example, they are particularly well-placed to shorten the 26.8 year wait for women to achieve gender equality in employment. And the 24 year wait for the gender pay gap to close.
Companies stand as powerful agents of transformation, shaping norms and practices that have far-reaching societal effects. The gender pay gap is not an isolated issue; it is a reflection of deep-rooted biases and systemic structures. To create lasting change, business leaders must understand that these systems either enable or hinder progress.
The Financy Impacter – a tool to measure and track diversity, equity and inclusion performance – has created opportunities for organisations to both reflect and celebrate progress. We recently ran NGS Super’s performance through the Impacter to test how we’re pushing for more equity for our employees as well as the 115,000 Australians whose super savings we look after.
On one hand, NGS outperformed benchmarks for diversity on our board, as well as equity in gender diversity, pay reporting, parenting, types of leave, employment opportunities, and of course superannuation.
On the other hand, there is still space for us to continue to improve in terms of practices and strategies for improving equity overall.
Business leaders must hold a mirror to their own practices and acknowledge that progress is a continuous effort – we can’t set and forget. It requires humility to admit where we fall short and the determination to rectify those shortcomings.
The future we envision is one where every woman is empowered by her earning potential and can experience financial independence throughout her career and her entire life. Fortunately, it’s within our reach to make this vision a reality. It just takes a willingness to hold that mirror up.
Financy writes about gender financial equality, diversity and inclusion. We also provide the software, Impacter which makes DEI performance easy and accessible for business. We also publish the quarterly Financy Women’s Index report which measures timeframes to equality in Australia. To stay up to date with us, subscribe to our newsletter.