Gender Equality still yet to close the pay gap

Just weeks after the announcement of the landmark deal to pay the Matildas, a report by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency was released. The report found that the average male took home approximately 20.8% or $25,000 more than his female counterpart on average. This shows small drop in the pay gap, but still speaks to the existence of a gender gap, both in representation at executive and board levels, and the continued pay gap.

This year marks 50 years since the establishment of the legal principle of “equal pay for equal work” in Australia, and while the gender pay gap has closed over time, it still has a way to go. The Matildas are the only national sports team to have an equal pay arrangement, contrasting with a variety of industries where the pay gap is significant, including healthcare and social assistance. Libby Lyons, the Director of the WGEA commented that while positive steps are being taken, employers could not become complacent about gender equality in the workplace.

On a positive note, over 60% of companies have some domestic violence assistance policy, and more than 75% of companies have a strategy to combat the gender pay gap and the proportion of women in management roles grew to almost 40% of all managers.

These statistics, Lyons commented, were disappointing, and are suggested to be a result of a growing ‘gender equality fatigue’ that may be slowing this progress. It was noted that such an attitude was unacceptable as a response. Lyons, in her final year in the role was disappointed, and hopes that more businesses will address gender equality as part of a core business practice.

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