It's time to stop short-changing women

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  • 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

  • 01 Sep 2011 8:07 PM | Anonymous member

    BPW Australia | Equal pay for work of equal value

    The 17.2% pay gap between men and women workers coststhe Australian economy over $93 billion each year.

    Closing the gap between men's and women's workforce participation would boost Australia's GDP by 11%. Median remuneration of women in line positions is 89% of men’s in line positions. For support positions, women’s remuneration is 63% of the median for men. Some women in CEO and finance positions earn less than half of their male equivalents.

    Companies lose talented female staff due to unfair remuneration practices – and this costs business thousands every time.

    Pay affects motivation and relationships at work; satisfied staff equals higher productivity.Gender equality in the workplace can reduce staff turnover and absence as well as your risk of employee litigation under discrimination legislation.

    Australians want the gender pay gap to be addressed; 80% of the general community and 96% of the business community believethat action must be taken to close the gap.

    Leading businesses know gender pay equity is an attraction and retention tool – and a competitive advantage. Improving gender pay equity can also improve consistency,transparency and effectiveness of people management.What can your business do?

    Sign up to the Equal Pay Alliance and join over 150 Australians who want pay equity. The Alliance comprises industry groups, businesses, government agencies, universities and NGOs working collaboratively to raise the awareness of the need for equal pay in Australia and to highlight the reasons for gender inequity.

    Start shrinking the gap today.

    Sandra Cook
    Director of Policy
    BPW Australia

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