Recent data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed that total wages earned by women is rising at a faster rate than it is for men, suggesting that Australia’s gender pay gap may be closing.
The statistics showed that total wages paid to women rose by 7.1 per cent, while men’s wages rose only 3.2 per cent as of 11 June 2022, along with the number of payroll jobs increasing by 1.7 per cent for women, while falling slightly (0.1 per cent) for men.
Australia’s gender pay gap currently sits at 13.8 per cent, and is calculated by Australia’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) based on data provided by the ABS. The average weekly full-time earnings for men are currently $1,846.50 while for women it’s $1,591.20, revealing a $255.30 discrepancy in wages.
Kris Grant, CEO of management consultancy at ASPL Group, said that closing the gender pay gay needs to be “a priority for all employers.”
“Now is the time for all employees to look at their payroll and examine whether the wages they're paying to men and women are equal, that is, the same pay is being paid for the same work to men and women,” Ms Grant said.
“Some advances are being made. Apart from the data today, the Fair Work Commission's decision to raise the national minimum wage by 5.2 per cent from 1 July will benefit the nation’s lowest paid workers, which are largely women.”
Ms Grant also stated that employers are beginning to recognise the need to close the gender gap to retain their workforce now that the unemployment rate could potentially fall to 3.5 per cent, allowing women more bargaining power in terms of wages.
“This will be especially true in sectors where there are chronic skill shortages and where women represent much of the workforce such as aged care and healthcare,” she said.
“For too long, we have heard the mantra, 'equal pay for equal work' without this actually being achieved. Now is the time for all employees to commit and act on this important goal.”