It's time to stop short-changing women

Pay Equity Timeline


  • Women’s minimum wage set at 54% of men’s wages


  • Women’s minimum wage set at 75% of men’s wages


  • ACTU test case establishes principle of ‘equal pay for work of equal value’ 1986 Affirmative Action Act (Equal Employment Opportunity for Women) introduced


  • Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act (EEOWA) introduced


  • Australia’s first Paid Parental Leave scheme
  • Review of EEOWA and Sex Discrimination Act
  • Pay Equity Inquiry launched
  • Fair Work Act defines equal pay more broadly as ‘equal remuneration for work of equal or comparable value’
  • BPW Australia and ACTU form Equal Pay Alliance to address the pay gap and invite businesses, unions, community groups and women’s organisations to join.


  • ASX Corporate Governance Gender Diversity Principles and Recommendations introduced.


  • Australian Services Union wins national Social and Community Services Pay Equity Case, properly valuing community work in the social and disability sectors.
  • Dad and Partner Pay Scheme introduced
  • Workplace Gender Equality Act introduced


  • Australian Council of Trade Unions launches the ‘Time To Care’ Campaign to improve work and family balance options for employees
  • Government provides funding to childcare sector to help increase wages for early childhood education and care workers
  • United Voice launches equal pay case for childcare workers.


  • The Workplace Gender Equality Agency expanded their national survey of employers to include remuneration data for the first time
  • G20 countries met in Sydney to discuss global trade and finance, bringing business leaders together at an important event highlighting the difference women;s empowerment and gender equity make to the bottom line
  • The Grattan Institute reported that a six per cent rise in female participation would increase the size of the Australia economy by around $25 billion a year
  • The Gender Pay Gap rose to 18.2%, which was the highest since the comparison between women's and en's average earnings were first produced in the early 1990's



  • The Gender Pay Gap reached its lowest level in 20 years at 14.6%
  • Responding to the unacceptably slow pace of change towards gender equality in Australia, leading organisations, which represent over 500,000 women in the workplace, came together to form the Australian Gender Equality Council (AGEC), a national not-for-profit organisation.


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