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Breaking down the Australian gender wage gap

Published 10th November 2015

While Australia has made great strides on social concerns, gender inequality remains an issue across the country. In most sectors, including the technology industry, women are paid less than men and closing this gap will be key to ending the current skill shortage.

According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and published by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), there is close to 18 per cent between the male and female average weekly earnings. Of course, it is important to note that some employers are very responsible around this issue, but many aren’t and this can prevent women from pursuing careers in certain sectors.

For the WGEA, the first step for businesses to reverse this trend is accountability. Acting Director Louise McSorley explained that enterprises need to analyse their own payroll data to identify any gender gaps.

“We’re also seeing more employers investigate and take responsibility for closing their organisation-wide pay gap as they look to dismantle the barriers that inhibit the ability for women to take on the bigger, higher paying roles,” she said.

“We urge all employers to use the tools available to analyse and address the pay gaps that may exist in their own workplaces.”

Potential of gender equality

As well as paying women wanting what they deserve and easing skill shortages, there is another benefit of wage parity – global growth. 

Based on a recent McKinsey Global Institute report, global GDP could grow by $12 trillion in 2025 if every country matched gender equality efforts by its most encouraging neighbour. The world economy is already fragile, so if half of the population isn’t earning to full potential, there are predictions that another downturn will occur.

For Australian businesses and recruiters, pay parity starts internally. By having the right contractor management software and payroll data services, these issues can be identified and enterprises can ensure every contractor is paid to industry standard, regardless of gender.

Australian gender wage gap?