IMPORTANT FINDINGS: SCU Associate Professor Michael Kortt believes the gender pay gap is harming the tourism industry.
IMPORTANT FINDINGS: SCU Associate Professor Michael Kortt believes the gender pay gap is harming the tourism industry. contributed

SCU find women earn less in tourism

HOSPITALITY and tourism activities have a huge influence on the health of the North Coast economy but a Southern Cross University study suggests not all sectors are getting the benefit.

Associate Professor Michael Kortt of the School Of Business And Tourism found female workers earn almost 10 per cent less than their male colleagues.

The study, published in Tourism Analysis, used data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey to estimate the gender wage gap for the sector.

"The principal findings suggest female tourism employees earn 8.5 per cent less and hospitality employees earn 7.5 per cent less than male counterparts,” Professor Kortt said.

"There are a number of possible reasons for this.

"Firstly, women may possess less human capital than male counterparts with education being a noteworthy factor.

"However, differences in the returns to education do not appear to be a compelling explanation.

"Secondly, women accumulate work experience at a slower rate because their participation in the labour force is traditionally interrupted by major life events like maternity leave and child rearing.”

Controls for educational attainment and work experience were included in the study, in addition to an extensive range of demographic and social characteristics.

"Even after controlling for these factors our results indicate female employees still incur a wage penalty and may face discrimination in the tourism and hospitality labour market.”

Professor Kortt called for efforts to be devoted to eliminating any remaining gender pay disparity.

He said the next step would be to look at particular jobs within the sector to see whether wage discrimination exists for specific roles.



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