Australia's gender pay gap drops to record low

But WGEA warns this may not fully reflect 'true gender pay gap'

Australia's gender pay gap drops to record low

Australia's national gender pay gap has dropped to 13.3%, the lowest-ever registered on record, according to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA).

However, WGEA stressed that there is "still work to do" as it may not present the full situation.

The latest weekly earnings data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that on average, women are earning 87 cents for every $1 earned by men.

As of November 2022, women's average weekly ordinary full-time earnings across all industries are still $253.40 less than what men earn each week.

"Over the course of one year, the weekly difference of $253.50 adds up to $13,182. That's income that could have gone towards meeting bills, mortgage repayments or additional contributions to superannuation funds for retirement," said WGEA director Mary Wooldridge in a media release.

According to Wooldridge, the pay gap is a "handbrake on women's ability to make ends meet."

"With inflation at 7.8% and rising, everyday essentials are becoming increasingly unaffordable," she said.

'Limited reflection'

In addition, Wooldridge also pointed out that the current gender pay gap data may not even present the full picture.

"We must not forget that today's calculation is a limited reflection of the true gender pay gap because it doesn't include bonuses, overtime payments or superannuation," she said.

It also does not include wages of part-time or casual workers, many of whom are lower-paid and women, according to the WGEA director.

Wooldridge said the pay gaps reflect how women's and men's contributions in the workforce are valued.

"As a business leader, if you are aware that your organisation has a gender pay gap and you take no action to close it, you are effectively sending a message to women that the work they do is of less value than that of men," she said. "Employers and business leaders need to step up and take action to ensure the work of all their employees is valued and rewarded equitably."

The findings come as Australia recently announced that it is introducing a new legislation that will publish the gender pay gaps data of employers with over 100 staff.

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