It's time to stop short-changing women

BPW Australia | Equal Pay Day 2012 Bulletin

01 Aug 2012 8:03 PM | Anonymous member

BPW Australia | Equal Pay Day 2012 Bulletin

We are limping towards Equal Pay Day - how ironic that it is on Father’s Day. And limping is a very good word to describe the progress we are making towards reducing the gender wage gap.

We recognise that women in Australia might legally have equal pay, but we have yet to achieve pay equity. Australian women on average earn around 17% less than Australian men, and the pay gap has been growing. Research tells us this is because occupations dominated by women attract lower salaries than occupations dominated by men. It isn’t only in unskilled work. Did you know that female law graduates are offered lower salaries than male graduates? It doesn’t stop there: senior female executives are not offered the same salary as senior male executives. 

But what about business? Achieving pay equity may mean childcare staff and agedcare workers [mostly female professionals, qualifications required] will finally be paid similar rates to carpark attendants and car detailers [mostly male casuals, no  qualifications required]. But would achieving pay equity make childcare and agedcare businesses unviable? Or rather will the ongoing pay gap make them unsustainable? What is the business case for pay equity?

These issues will be among the many to be discussed at BPW Equal Pay Events in regional and capital cities across Australia (refer to ). In SA there is a “dinner party” with a difference; in WA a panel of Pollies, in QLD an interview with an EOWA Employer of

Choice; NSW is featuring negotiation skills and Victoria is looking at education and the role it plays in addressing the gap.

The gender pay gap is not confined to government and big business. Some BPW clubs are covering small business, which is also the focus of Alliance member economicSecurity4Women. They are urging SMEs to complete their online survey https: // The results will allow us to better assist this sector in ensuring they offer contemporary workplaces that are gender fair – a must when competing for the best possible applicants in this very tight labour market.

I urge you not to let Equal Pay Day go by unnoticed. A $250.00 week gap is untenable!

We are working closely with EOWA, HREOC, OFW and the Diversity Council to ensure the media know we are maintaining our efforts and we will be relying on social media to spread the word this year. You can find us on facebook at Equal Pay Day Australia.

Of course you can make a splash – at least carry your red equal pay day bag when you go out this Sunday (2nd September); or wear your badges or wristbands. Maybe try asking for a 17.6% discount on your shopping? That will surely get you noticed!

Sandra Cook
Equal Pay Alliance

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