The national gender pay gap has narrowed by about $7 over the past six months and is now at its lowest point in 20 years, thanks to a rise in the weekly earnings of women.
Today’s release of the latest trend adult weekly ordinary time earnings data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that women are making progress on closing the wage disparity that exists between men and women.
In fact that progress is significant with this new data revealing the pay gap has actually closed to 14.6 per cent, from about 15.2 per cent in November last year.
This is the lowest point the gender pay gap has been since prior to 1994, which is as far back as Financy can research and suggests the lowest point in plus-24 years.
For the average woman, this means she is now earning about $23.4 more than she was in November, a lot more than the $16.3 gain for men.
As of May the average woman was earning $1433.60, which is about $244.80 a week less that the $1678.40 average weekly earnings for men.
Six months earlier the disparity between men and women was greater with women earning $251.90 less than men.
Women were taking home an average of $1410.20 a week in November last year, while men were collecting $1662.10 at that time.
By contrast the average weekly ordinary time earnings for full-time adults in Australia in May 2018 was $1,585.30.
Dan Petrie from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Queensland says despite relatively sluggish wage growth, women are fairing better than men on the back of improving job outcomes.
“Furthermore the minimum wage, also increased by 3.5 per cent July 1, which will add a further $24.30 to low income workers – of which women are a major component. This means the wage gap is likely to improve even further in the short-term.
Libby Lyons, Director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, said the narrowing of the pay gap was great news.
“This great result is recognition of the work employers have done in addressing issues such as pay equity. By collecting and analysing data, employers know where their gender equality hotspots are and can take action to improve them.
“However, we cannot become complacent as there is still much work to do. All employers need to continue to ensure their employees are paid equitably. Do a pay gap analysis. Report the results to the executive and board. Pay gaps close when leaders see the numbers.
“This improvement in the gender pay gap proves that actions speak louder than words. If every employer in Australia did a pay audit, analysed the results and then took action, we would eventually consign the national gender pay gap to the annals of history,” she said.