WGEA reveals average gender pay gap for Commonwealth public sector

'The public sector should set a standard for promoting gender equality,' says Minister

WGEA reveals average gender pay gap for Commonwealth public sector

Australia’s Commonwealth public sector has an average gender pay gap of 13.5%, which was relatively smaller compared to the public sector’s 21.7%, according to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA).

“Earlier this year we published private sector gender pay gaps for the first time; now, we’re shining a light on progress in the public sector on gender equality,” said Minister for Women, Public Service, and Finance Senator Katy Gallagher.

The senator added that the private sector had been reporting its progress towards gender equality to the WGEA for the past ten years, and now the Commonwealth public sector is stepping up.

“The public sector should set a standard for promoting gender equality and WGEA reporting is a key part of that,” she added.

Source: WGEA

More work to do with parental leave, lower pay, promotions

While the public sector has achieved gender balance in every level of management, and almost all employers have a flexible working policy and most promote flexible work, said the agency, there is more work to do:

  • An imbalance around parental leave persists; in 2022, only 11% of primary carer and universally available parental leave was taken by men.
  • Women are more likely to be represented in occupations that are lower paid.
  • Employees who are full-time are more likely than part-time employees to be promoted. In 2022, only 8% of manager roles were part-time and only 4% of promotions went to part-time employees.

“We know we need to encourage stronger uptake of parental leave by men, and part-time workers should not be overlooked for promotion,” Gallagher said.

Public sector reporting to WGEA was a recommendation of the Respect@Work Report. Following legislation introduced by the Albanese Government, Commonwealth public sector employers with 100 or more employees are required to submit gender equality reports to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA).

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