KPMG first of Big Four to publish pay gap details

by Chloe Taylor10 Sep 2015
Professional services giant KPMG – one of the ‘Big Four’ – has reportedly put annual pay reviews and bonus allocations on hold for three weeks while it completes a breakdown of individual roles and salaries to target pay inequity.

The findings of the analysis are set to be made public for the first time, and will cover each of KPMG’s 6500 employees in Australia.

The Australian Financial Review reported that the full report was due to be presented to the company’s executive committee yesterday, but the report presented to the public will not include the difference between men and women’s earnings at KPMG.

However, the public report will reveal how successful the company has been in narrowing its gender pay gap over the past four years.

The analysis – which will be conducted on a “name-by-name basis”, was shared among 60 senior staff yesterday, including KPMG’s executive committee and divisional leaders.

According to research conducted by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), the financial services sector has the widest gender pay gap, with women’s base salaried in the sector being 24% lower than their male colleagues’.

The data also showed that women in the finance sector currently earn what men in finance were earning a decade ago.

“The pay equity gap is the scourge of the 21st century,” Susan Ferrier, KPMG’s head of HR, told the AFR.

“There has not been much improvement over the past two decades. Women are earning just over 82 cents for every dollar their male colleagues earn.

“They need to work an extra 65 days a year on average to earn the same as men.”

Across Australia’s entire workforce, there has been a slow rate of improvement – national statistics show that the gap has dropped by 0.4% in the last year.

While KPMG is the first of the Big Four in Australia to make public revelations about its gender pay gap, the UK operations of Deloitte and PwC have already made similar decisions.

Last month, Deloitte’s UK office revealed it had a 17.8% difference between the total remuneration paid to its male and female employees.

Although this surpassed the UK’s national average of 1.5%, it fell behind PwC which reported a 15.1% gap in its UK workforce.

Earlier this year, KPMG said promoted 51 people into the position of equity partner, 37% of whom were women.

It was announced at the time that the company intended to ensure that 25% of its Australian partners were women by 2017.

Currently, the proportion of female partners at KPMG Australia stands at 20%.

HC recently spoke to Diversity Council Australia’s CEO Lisa Annese about the impact of Australia’s gender pay gap.

“The current gender pay gap means women are earning just over 82 cents for every dollar their male colleagues earn, down from an average of 85 cents, eleven years ago,” she said.

“It’s pretty depressing that we still find ourselves in this position in 2015.”

“Pay inequity has many causes but we know discrimination and occupational and industry segregation are major contributors,” she continued, adding that the impact of having and raising children on women’s wages is also an issue.

According to Annese, the most important thing for employers to do is to understand and acknowledge the presence of a pay gap – because “most organisations have some kind of gap”.


  • by Can we get over gender politics please? 10/09/2015 11:09:57 AM

    So... is KPMG admitting to breaking the law here? They pay the women less BECAUSE they're women? Or is the "scourge of the 21st century" simply because women don't WORK as much as men and CHOOSE lower paid professions? Are they going to go the ANZ route and simply pay women more for doing the same work as men? Is that the type of "equality" in play here?

  • by Male Matters 10/09/2015 10:51:09 PM

    No doubt most pay-equity advocates think employers are greedy profiteers who'd hire only illegal immigrants for their lower labor cost if they could get away with it. Or who'd move their business to a cheap-labor country to save money. Or replace old workers with young ones for the same reason. So why do these same advocates think employers would NOT hire only women if, as they say, employers DO get away with paying females at a lower rate than males for the same work?

    Even some of America's most sophisticated women choose to earn less than their male counterparts:

    “In 2011, 22% of male physicians and 44% of female physicians worked less than full time, up from 7% of men and 29% of women from Cejka’s 2005 survey.” (See also "Female Docs See Fewer Patients, Earn $55,000 Less Than Men"

    "...[O]nly 35 percent of women who have earned MBAs after getting a bachelor’s degree from a top school are working full time." It "is not surprising that women are not showing up more often in corporations’ top ranks."

    "A study of students graduating from Carnegie Mellon found that 57% of males negotiated for a higher starting salary than had been offered, compared to just 7% of females. As a result, starting salaries of men were 7.6% (almost $4,000) higher than those of women."

    A thousand laws won't close such gaps.

    Much more in:

    "Salary Secrecy — Discrimination Against Women?"

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