Equal pay day highlights gender pay gap still alive and kicking

by Stephanie Zillman03 Sep 2012

The annual Equal Pay Day fell yesterday, symbolically held on the 64th day of the new financial year to reflect the additional number of days it takes for an average female worker to make up the pay disparity.

The discrepancy between men and women’s wages remains a serious issue for both the federal government and the corporate Australia, according to the Minister for the Status of Women, Julie Collins.

Yet the pay gap has remained much the same for more than two decades. “Women’s pay has remained between 82-85% of men’s pay since 1990. It’s completely unacceptable that this situation still prevails,” Helen Conway from the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) said.

EOWA is the agency behind the annual pay day campaign, and is this year once again calling on businesses to take action to eliminate gender pay discrimination. “I challenge businesses to step-up and use Equal Pay Day to drive action in their workplaces,” Conway said. “Gender pay equity can be a difficult issue to address and EOWA is committed to assisting employers take action to achieve equity.”

Equal pay in stats:

  • This year, it took women 64 days, while in the previous two years it was 63 to reach parity. On average, men earn 17.5% more than women in comparable jobs.
  • The annual employee earnings report found the average male worker was earning $1,227 a week, while the average female earned $819 a week.
  • Less than 40% of companies surveyed by EOWA conduct an annual gender pay equity analysis. Of the organisations that did conduct an analysis, just over half put together an action plan to address the gender pay gap.


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