26 Nov

Men out-earn women by $27,000 a year: new data released from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency

26 November 2015, Sydney: World-leading data covering four million employees in Australia reveals there has been some progress towards workplace gender equality but stubborn pay gaps persist across industries, occupations and management levels.

The second year of data collected by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency covers 12,229 employers and represents over 40% of employees in Australia. It finds:

  • An overall gender pay gap* of 24.0% on average full-time total remuneration (including bonuses, allowances and superannuation), representing a difference of $27,254 a year. The overall pay gap in favour of men has declined slightly since 2013-14.
  • The top levels of management remain heavily male-dominated, with just 15.4% of CEO positions and 27.4% of key management personnel (KMP) positions held by women. Across all management levels, the proportion of women managers has grown from 35.9 to 36.5% since last year. 
  • Women work part-time at three times the rate of men. While women make up nearly half (48.8%) of the workforce covered by our dataset, full-time women only comprise one in five employees (20.3%). Just 6.3% of management roles overall are part-time, contributing to the lack of women in senior roles.

While the data confirms stubborn gender pay gaps and under-representation of women in management and leadership roles, it also reveals measurable progress on employer action in support of workplace gender equality.

The percentage of employers with a gender equality strategy has grown from 18.3% in 2013-14 to 20.6% in 2014-15. Increases were also recorded in the proportion of employers conducting pay gap analyses, introducing guidelines for flexible working and supporting employees experiencing domestic violence.

WGEA Director Libby Lyons said the data provided the first comprehensive time-series data on the status of gender equality in Australian workplaces.

“This data leads the world in providing a comprehensive picture of what’s happening for women and men across industries and all levels of the workforce,” said Ms Lyons.

“It is eye-opening to see the scale of the gender equality challenge. The data provides insights into where action is needed and a yardstick against which we can track progress. I’m encouraged to see pay gaps inching lower, women’s representation in leadership roles inching higher and leading employers start to dismantle the structural and cultural barriers to women and men’s equal participation at all levels of the workplace.”

The Agency has this week provided each reporting organisation with a tailored benchmark report that compares its performance on pay and management representation by gender against their industry.

Ms Lyons urged all reporting organisations to download and review their benchmark report.

“While the national data gives us a snapshot of what’s happening around Australia, it’s up to each organisation to take action to build inclusive, diverse and successful businesses. Understanding their own performance on gender equality is an essential first step.”

10 key findings from WGEA workplace data 2014-15

  • 24.0% gender pay gap* in favour of men (average full-time total remuneration), equivalent to $27,254 per year
  • The gender pay gap (total remuneration) fell by 0.7 percentage points between 2013-14 and 2014-15
  • Financial and Insurance Services maintained its position as the industry with the highest gender pay gap, though it fell by 1.1 percentage point to 35.0%
  • Permanent full-time jobs in male-dominated industries declined, with 25,478 fewer jobs in mining and construction in 2014-15 than 2013-14
  • 15.4% of CEOs and 27.4% of key management personnel were women
  • Women held three out of four part-time jobs (75.1%)
  • 6.3% of management jobs were part-time, compared with 22.7% of non-management jobs
  • Employers with a domestic violence policy or strategy grew from 32.2% to 34.9%
  • 20.6% of employers had a gender equality strategy, compared with 18.3% in 2013-14
  • 16.1% of organisations set targets for board composition

* A gender pay gap is the difference between the average male full-time earnings and average female full-time earnings expressed as a percentage of male earnings. We calculate gender pay gaps across the data set by industry and by management and non-management categories, excluding CEO salaries. The Agency’s gender pay gap data does not reflect comparisons of women and men in the same roles (that is, like-for-like gaps).

To download the full report, please click here

Visit www.wgea.gov.au for more information on the WGEA

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