Women are still earning significantly less than men but the good news is that inequality in the workforce is improving – slowly.
The latest update from private sector employer reports given to Australia’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency, found that that women still earn almost 77 per cent less than men.
This equates to a difference of about $27,000 for the average woman on a full time wage, and about $94,000 less in top management positions.
Women are also under-represented in leadership roles: holding just 16.3 per cent of CEO and 37.4 per cent of all manager roles.
But the scorecard shows improvement in key gender equality indicators with lower pay gaps, greater movement of women into management roles and increased action from employers to address gender equality.
The efforts of some companies, such as Ernst & Young to PayPal to name just a couple, to narrow the pay gap, as well as organisations such as the Male Champions of Change and the Australian Institute of Company Directors have undoubtedly helped.
Among the key figures in the report
- Gender pay gap (full-time total remuneration): 23.1 per cent, down 1.6 per cent
- Largest industry gender pay gap: Financial and Insurance Services: 33.5 per cent, down 2.6 per cent
- Key Management Personnel who are women: 28.5 per cent up 2.4 per cent
- Employers with policies to support gender equality: 70.7 per cent, up 4.5 per cent
- Employers who have conducted a gender pay gap analysis: 27 per cent, up 3 per cent
- Appointments of women to manager roles: 42.6 per cent
“The data confirms gender pay gaps in favour of men in every industry and the under-representation of women in management and leadership roles,” saysWGEA Director Libby Lyons in a statement.
“At the same time, it shows employers are stepping up to the challenge in greater numbers with proactive gender equality policies. For the first time, more than 70 per cent of employers reported they have policies in place to support gender equality.
“There’s no question we are seeing movement in the right direction, but it’s still too slow. The Agency will continue to work with employers to help them drive better workplace gender equality across their organisations.”
This year’s report highlights the sharp divide between male and female-dominated industries, showing that 60 per cent of Australians work in an industry dominated by a single gender and graduates are overwhelmingly entering fields dominated by their own gender. Managerial appointments and promotions made over the year were also tracked for the first time.
“42.6 per cent of those appointed to managerial roles last year were women. So even though only 37.4 per cent of managers are currently women, we can expect that figure to trend up as more women rise through the ranks. Your boss today is still much more likely to be a man, but the data shows we are moving toward gender equality among managers.”