Small pay gap improvements for working women

ACCORDING to the WGEA (Workplace Gender Equity Agency), the gender pay gap has gone down from 17.9% in 2015 to 15.3%. We are making progress! However not enough.

BPW Coffs Harbour has been bringing this issue to the attention of Government for over 40 years and is part of the Women's Alliance, Economic Security for Women (eS4W) that is driving the push with Government to address this lack of equality. We are pleased that Bill Shorten has declared that the Labour Party is also focusing on equality.

The national gender pay gap is the difference between women and men's average weekly full-time equivalent earnings, expressed as a percentage of a man's earnings. It is a measure of women's overall position in the paid workforce and does not compare like roles.

Unfortunately the data regarding remuneration from The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and WGEA both reflect a gender pay gap in every industry and occupational category in Australia, of 23.1%. That equates to $27,000 per year less.

Why the gap? Bias in the hiring decisions, the fact that many women work in industries attracting lower wages, and women's disproportionate share of unpaid and domestic work are all factors of the pay gap.

One cannot but notice the recent discrepancy in salary being offered to the new CEO of Australia Post, Christine Holgate, compared with the outgoing CEO, Ahmend Fahour. How much was due to her gender one might ask? Time and time again, women are being offered less than their male counterparts, and we are partially to blame. Women must recognise they can do the job of the men, and not be afraid to ask for the higher salary, for the promotion and for the pay rise.

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