Australians are still confused about the meaning of gender pay equity, leaving HR professionals with much work in order to narrow the gap.
A new study conducted for Diversity Council Australia (DCA) and the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace agency (EOWA) shows that 64 per cent of Australians wrongly think that pay equity means equal pay for men and women who are doing the same job.
Just 14 per cent of people agreed with the correct idea that pay equity means equal pay for men and women doing different but equivalent jobs.
Lisa Annese, acting director of research at DCA, told HR Leader that the findings showed the importance of continuing the national debate about pay equity and what it really means.
“We’re not surprised by the findings and unfortunately nothing has really changed in terms of gender pay equity.
“The question is how employers and HR specialists can use a system to ensure that pay is fair and jobs are valued properly. This is where women traditionally disadvantaged.
“In financial services companies women might be working in services or HR, for example. These roles are not valued as highly as others but are just as highly skilled and produce the same business critical outcomes.”
The study also reveals Australians are largely downbeat about the likelihood of women receiving equal pay to men, despite the fact that most believe in the idea.
On a brighter note, most Australians believe that steps should be taken to close the pay gap between men and women. One of the positive aspects of the survey was that just over three quarters (76 per cent) of Australians agree that steps should be taken to close the pay gap between men and women.