Gender inequality claims as our pay gap widens

MEN in Coffs Harbour are getting paid about $13,000 a year more than women.

Data collected from the Coffs Harbour local government area shows men are getting paid about 38% more than women, based on average weekly full-time earnings.

Figures show the biggest gap is in professional roles, where Coffs Harbour men get paid about $22,000 a year more than women. The lowest gap was in sales, where men were paid about $10,300 more than women.

The figures are in line with Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released in February that showed the gender pay gap across all levels and industries is the highest it has been for 20 years

Coffs Coast Business Women's Network president Jacqui Jarrett said it is a worrying trend that needs to be rectified.

"Progress has been made over the years, but pay equality Australia-wide needs to be reviewed," she said.

Experts say there are several reasons why women still fall behind men when it comes to wages, from employers offering less money to women deciding between a job at lower pay and no job at all.

National Council of Women member Elise Stephenson said research showed women were more reluctant than men to negotiate.

"Women are more reluctant to put themselves forward," she said.

"A man will go and ask for a promotion and then prove himself but a woman will tend to prove herself and then ask for a promotion."

FAST Facts

In Australia, the pay gap is 18.8%.

This is almost $300 a week.

On average, a woman has to work 66 extra days to equal a man's pay.

Industries with the highest pay gaps: Financial and insurance services (29.6%), health care (29.1%) and real estate (28.7%).

Industries with lowest pay gaps: Public administration and safety (7.2%), accommodation and food (9%) and electricity, water and waste (9.1%).

NSW has third highest gap in the country, behind Western Australia and Queensland.

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