Australia’s pay gap slow to close, at 14 per cent

Australia’s gender pay gap has declined by 0.6 percentage points over the last 12 months, and now stands at 14 per cent for full-time employees.

Figures from
the Workplace Gender Equality Agency show that there is a difference of $241.50 per week between women and men’s earnings on average in Australia.

The agency said that Australian states are moving at different paces in terms of closing the gender pay gap. South Australia is leading the way, followed by Victoria, while Queensland and Western Australia fall behind.

“The gender pay gap matters for women. Although the gap is closing faster in some states than others, Australian women still have to deal with a pay gap favouring men in every state and territory of our nation,” said Libby Lyons, director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

“These results also show that the barriers women face in having the same opportunities and rewards in our workplaces as men remain stubbornly persistent. It’s well beyond time for this to change. We have to see more employer action on addressing pay equity if we are going to keep reducing the gender pay gap. I urge all Australian employers to take action now. The gender pay gap will not close on its own. It will only close if all of us – employers and employees, women and men – work together to make it happen,” said Lyons on the website.

Wednesday, August 28 marks (Un) Equal Pay Day in Australia, as women have to work for an additional 59 days from the end of the last financial year, to earn the same amount as men.


Gender pay gap

Difference in average weekly full-time salary

Women’s additional working days (on average)*
South Australia9.2%$140.9037
Australian Capital Territory12.5%$240.4052
Northern Territory13.4%$240.7056
New South Wales14.6%$257.6062
Western Australia21.8%$419.40101

*Rounded to nearest decimal point. Source: Workplace Gender Equality Agency

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency said that the (Un) Equal Pay Day symbolises how women’s capabilities are still not fully recognised in companies.

WGEA said women will retire with 40 per cent less superannuation compared to men and that the homelessness rate for women over the age of 55 is on the rise, increasing by 31 per cent between 2011 and 2016.

The agency said that having more women in businesses also boosts Australia’s productivity and innovation.

Earlier this week, food and beverage giant Lion announced that it was scraping salary questions from interviews in order to keep the pay gap at the company closed.


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