Equal Pay Day: No cause for celebration

News articles
Topics Gender

Today is Equal Pay Day. While many 'Days' are cause for celebration, Equal Pay Day is certainly not one of these. It is a point on the calendar that marks the additional time from the end of the previous financial year that women must work to earn the same as men.

"For the last two months women in Australia have effectively been 'catching up' to what men earned over the past financial year," said Lisa Annese, Diversity Council Australia Chief Executive Officer. "Equal Pay Day illustrates that women need to work more than 14 months to earn what men can get in 12 months.  This is a 'Day' that we shouldn't have to have.

"Research shows that most men and a large proportion of women are not aware of the gender pay gap or incorrectly believe that it does not exist.  Yet the evidence is unambiguous." 

"Thus it is important that we acknowledge this day and recognise the discrepancy in earnings between men and women and how women in the workforce are still undervalued," said Lisa.  

Using Average Weekly Earnings data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) calculates the national gender pay gap to be 16.2%, a decrease of 1.7 percentage points over the previous 12-month period.  On average, men working full-time earned $1,613.60 and women earned $1,352.50, a difference of $261.10 per week.

The national gender pay gap reflects the overall position of women in the workforce and is influenced by a range of factors including earnings differences between male and female-dominated industries and occupations, underrepresentation of women in senior positions, the distribution of unpaid caring responsibilities as well as discrimination and bias. 

DCA in conjunction with WGEA and KPMG is currently developing a report that will be released later this month, exploring the various factors that contribute to the gender pay gap.

Additional information and resources for addressing pay equity are available on the WGEA website