It's time to stop short-changing women

About Equal Pay Day

The Gender Pay Gap

The gender pay gap is the difference between women’s and men’s average weekly full-time equivalent earnings, expressed as a percentage of men’s earnings. The national gender pay gap is calculated annually by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency using the Australian Bureau of Statistics' labour force data. The gap is currently 17.9% and has hovered between 15% and 19% for the past two decades. Some of the reasons for pay inequity and our worsening pay gap are:

  • “women’s work” is undervalued
  • in professions where women predominate, wages are generally lower than industry standards
  • women more often work part time and in temporary jobs that have reduced hourly pay rates
  • women interrupt their careers more frequently, e.g. after pregnancy
  • women earn less than men because more men work in better-paid sectors and at higher levels in better-paid jobs
  • women often face a ‘glass ceiling’; they do not move on to senior positions even when they have the same qualifications as men
  • gender role stereotypes still predominate and our workforces are often segregated into women’s work and men’s work

In 2015 in Australia:

  • Women make up 45.6% of all employees;
  • Women constitute 69.3% of all part-time employees, 35.7% of all full time employees, and 57% of all casual employees;
  • Women earn an average of 17.9% less than men (based on full time earnings);
  • Female graduates earn on average $5,000 per annum less than male graduates upon entering the workforce;
  • Of the ASX 200 companies, only 20% have female directors, of which 6% have female chairs and 6% have female CEOs;
  • On average, women receive just 33.6% of men’s superannuation payout on retirement;
  • Equal remuneration cases continue to uncover systematic under-valuation of women’s work and skills;
  • Women continue to bear the greatest share of domestic work and child care;
  • We have one of the highest rates in the OECD of dependence of women on part-time and casual jobs (with minimal career paths) to combine work and family responsibilities; and
Women continue to have unequal access to the benefits of workplace bargaining and are over-represented in low-paid jobs dependent on minimum wages and conditions.

Your Participation

On Equal Pay Day, take it to the streets, find supporters / allies and be part of events and activities such as these:

  • carry red purses and red bags to represent economic discrimination
  • organise information desks and activities in public areas to draw attention and get people to talk
  • ask local cafés and restaurants to promote an “Unhappy Hour” between 12 and 2 p.m. or after work and offer a discount to women on meals and drinks equal to the gender pay gap
  • use this social time to network and plan local activities that can lead to improved wages for women
  • encourage local shops to decorate their display windows with red purses
  • arrange forums and debates covering the topic of pay inequality organise workshops on how to better negotiate pay
  • attend one of the BPW or Security4Women events being held around Australia

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