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Mind the gap: Gender pay gap biggest in 20 years

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HC Online | 28 Aug 2014, 11:33 AM Agree 0
Australia’s gender pay gap is at 18.2%, its highest point in 20 years. Changing the way in which men and women work could help to reduce the disparity, according to one economist.
  • PhilB | 28 Aug 2014, 02:55 PM Agree 0
    Yes. For some time a critical contributor to gender income inequality has been the gender division of labour. It is greatly exacerbated by long and inflexible hours. The crazy thing is that we have known for over a century that long hours reduce productivity - at the individual, organisational and national levels. It is in everyone's interests to think smart about work organisation and gender equity.
  • Bruce | 29 Aug 2014, 01:26 PM Agree 0
    Can we get the gender inequality that relates actually to females doing the same work as males? Saying that is it gender inequality when women are choosing to do lesser paid occupations, is not gender inequality. People should be chosen for a position on their ability to fulfill the role.
  • Amanda Rochford | 01 Sep 2014, 03:26 PM Agree 0
    Saying women are choosing to do lesser paid occupations is only part of the story. There are some women who 'choose' a lower paid position because they carry the brunt of the shopping, cleaning, clothes washing, child care, transportation, homework etc etc responsibilities of running a home for which they dont get paid. You just dont have the brain power or physical capability to do two jobs at a high level of responsibility for 16 hours a day and sometimes in the middle of the night. Additionally, taking maternity leave to give birth and care for a newborn, or working part-time hours, leaves employers with the idea that women are not as dedicated to their jobs as men. Women are further, disadvantaged when it comes to taking carers leave for sick children. While some dads are great with sick kids, most aren't. While men are equally capable of being nuturing and empathetic, current social constructs prevent them from being fully so. Further, when it comes to choosing one parent to stay home full time to raise children, it makes good economic sense to 'choose' to forgo the lower salary. That doesnt make it fair or sensible for the wife in the long term. Finally, there are numerous studies which demonstrate that all things being equal in terms of experience, resumes, education levels, answers to interview questions etc. that men will be hired over women. And when the male and female have different operating styles or decision making styles in the workplace, the male way of thinking is given higher value. Think of your team morning tea events. Has any male member of your team ever been asked to do the shopping and food preparation for your teams morning tea? Certainly they are never expected to do the washing up. Its a cultural bias and it is everywhere. So every time you see a male executive just realise that the woman pushing the tea trolley is most likely just as educated and just as capable.
  • Belinda | 04 Sep 2014, 01:44 PM Agree 0
    Amanda- love your comment below as I think it hits many of the issues; this is not just about flexibility but also opportunity and perception.
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