It's time to stop short-changing women

News Releases

  • 06 Sep 2014 7:01 AM | Anonymous member

    The Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick says she's disappointed that Australian women are earning 18 per cent less than their male colleagues, despite ongoing efforts to try and close the gap. "It's alarming that the pay gap between men and women has hardly changed in the past 20 years. Women are earning an average of $14,500 less than men every year," said Commissioner Broderick. "Today, Equal Pay Day, is a chance for us to reflect on the 66 days of work an Australian woman would have to do to earn the same as the men," she said.
  • 31 Aug 2014 12:54 PM | Anonymous member

    BPW Australia members will yet again be dismayed as the announcement that the Gender Pay Gap has blown out to 18.2%, the worst in 20 years. Equal Pay Day, Friday 5th September, is 66 days extra a woman has to work to earn the same as a man in the year before (see more inside)

    Whilst women wear red for Equal Pay Day, they are seeing red this week after data from the Australian.

    Bureau of Statistics shows that men working full-time earn 18.2% more than women, that’s $283.20 per week, or $14726 per year. Women working in the female dominated health care and social assistance sectors have the largest gap at $30.7%, followed by financial and insurance services at 30.0%. (other sectors’ information is available from

    The gap has gone backwards another1 % in the last 12 months. Women are asking themselves, what do they have to do to get pay equity? Nothing. Really, it is time for those who pay them to become accountable.
    It is time to turn up the heat on the hand that pays us.

    Will it take over 70 years as depressingly suggested in a recent Oxfam reportto achieve pay equity? A major part of the reason for pay disparity is purely attributable to discrimination based on gender.

    Does a female child care worker working with the next generation of lawyers, doctors, school teachers, perform work of a lesser value than a male construction worker? Is the work less demanding, require less education? No, but that is the way society has valued the work that women in large numbers
    perform, and today we argue for equitable pay based on the value of work, not the sex of the people performing it(similar to the slogan from 40-50 years ago –“pay the job, not the sex”). Men work in industries that have been historically more highly valued –not because their work is of a more highly
    skilled nature, just that it was assessed at some point in the past as being ‘worth’ more because it was done by men.

    That doesn’t account for the other areas where women work alongside male colleagues and still earn less. Are women actively discouraged from asking their employers what others earn to compare their remuneration? BPWclubs run negotiating skills workshops, for instance, on Equal Pay Days, and have
    the anecdotal evidence that asking for a pay rise does pay off; they provide professional advice, practical tips and support and encouragement to their members and other women in the workplace.

    BPW Clubs across the country are commemorating Equal Pay Day throughout August and September in various ways, with education and information as a key to many of their events. Wearing red or carrying
    red bags is a sign of solidarity on this day. It is not a day to ‘celebrate’, as such, because as long as the gap remains high (and increases) between what men and women earn, women will continue to suffer financial hardship, poverty even, especially in retirement. A gap in wages of $14000 or more per year adds up to a lot at the end of your working life. Effectively, women have given away a year’s worth of productive income to their employers every 5.5 years. Is THAT why we see no change?

    The pay gap varies all over the world, and in Germany, where it is similar to Australia, BPW Germany have been given €1 million for the last three years to run a public awareness campaign, and the government has just renewed that pledge for another 3 years. For example, BPW Germany ran a public
    accountability press and media campaign during the elections, asking politicians of all parties to explain what they would do to repair the gap. This very public exposure of the problem and seeking realistic solutions will hopefully see some progress being made there. The gap in Europe varies between 6 -24%, and in Japan and Korea around 30%, and in New Zealand it is around 13%.

    Is there light at the end of a very long tunnel? Large employers are now being forced to examine their work practices by reporting data to the WGEA annually, using the GEIs (Gender Equity Indicators). It is hoped that this will provide real wage statistics allowing full and proper analysis of workplace culture, leading to full and just remuneration for all, regardless of gender.

    Andrea Cross
    Director of Policy

  • 27 Aug 2014 10:03 PM | Anonymous member

    Australian Gender Pay Gap Widens

    By Jason Cadden

  • 25 Aug 2014 8:00 AM | Anonymous member

    A new online resource is now available to assist women to ‘know their value’ when negotiating pay and employment conditions and entering into contracts.

    The checklist sets out the relevant points of negotiation around pay and conditions, promotions, working arrangements and learning and development opportunities and identifies and links to freely available existing resources for example, the Fair Work Ombudsman and Fair Work Commission and the MoneySmart website.

    “In some jobs there may be little or no room to negotiate, however women need to find out what is - and is not – negotiable and then work out which checklist items are relevant to the job being considered” said Ms Sandra Cook, Chairperson of economic Security4Women, a National Women’s Alliance.

    “There is considerable difference between women and men when it comes to the approach taken during employment negotiations and to their outcomes. Indeed, women have tended to have less successful outcomes than men.
    “These less successful outcomes contribute to the lack of women in senior executive roles, the persistent gender pay gap between women and men and ultimately, the higher numbers of women vulnerable to poverty in old age” she said.

    View the checklist at
    eS4W is one of the National Women’s Alliances. It is an alliance of women’s organisations united in the belief that economic wellbeing and financial security are essential for women and will enable women of all ages to have an equal place in society.

    The online career checklist provided by economic Security4Women (eS4W) is designed especially for women and will link them to existing information in order for them to confidently negotiate the best employment outcome and contribute to their long term economic well-being.

    Media contact: Sally Jope, Executive Officer, 0423 198 567

  • 03 Sep 2013 9:15 AM | Anonymous member
       BPW Australia | Sandra Cook
       Equal Pay Alliance

       Equal Pay Day 2013 Bulletin

    Will you let 3rd September slip by without taking any action? This equal pay day reminds us of the 17.5% gender pay gap. May be we should just be grateful that it is less than Japan’s 28% or even Sweden’s 18.4%.

    Our gender pay gap, based on average weekly earnings, means women earn
    $266.20 less per week. A gender pay gap leads to more than reduced incomes – it also affects the status of women in society

    At a recent Equal Pay Day event held in Perth by BPW WA one young girl heard some tips on negotiating, well aware that she was being paid less than her counterparts. Putting her best brave foot forward on her return to work she contacted her HR department, pointed out her job description, her level of responsibility compared to others, her impact on the business, and asked to be advised, in writing, why her salary was less than what she knew others were being paid. She succeeded in obtaining a $5000 annual increase.

    Earning the same pay for delivering work of equal value should not rely solely on employee negotiating skills. We are asking all employers to Be Aware, Be Fair this year.

    The gender pay gap crosses all sectors, and all sizes of business. BPW Australia continues to support the work of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency to ensure that the small and medium business sector has tools to readily assist them in making their workplaces gender fair. Equal Pay Alliance partner ecomicSecurity4women is focusing on women in small business at their twilight forum with Sydney University’s Women and Work Research Group on 4th September and at their Pay Equity Forum for small business in Melbourne on 5th September. Collaboration and shared resources are needed to make an impact on a pay gap that has remained constant for over 20 years.

    BPW Australia clubs across the nation are hosting events - Perth, Geelong, Caboolture, Cessnock and Coffs Harbour to name a few – check out for details of how you can attend workshops, dinners, Q&As and sundowners. Don’t let the women you know be shortchanged – take some action this year. What can you do? Encourage others to join the Equal Pay Alliance – it is easy online; if you are holding an event send the details and I will share them; if you’ve already held an event – send me a few words and attach a photo; and if you have a success story let us know.

    I look forward to hearing from you,

    Sandra Cook
    Equal Pay Alliance
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