According to the latest Financy Women’s Index, the timeframe to equality in the gender pay gap widened to 23.4 years in the June quarter from 22.7 years in the previous quarter.
The number of monthly hours worked by women in June was reported to be up by 1.3 per cent, but this was less than half the 2.8 per cent growth seen for men over the same period.
Overall, Financy stated that the Women’s Index improved 0.5 points to 72.9 points during the quarter thanks to improved gender diversity on the boards of ASX 200 companies and a narrowing of the gap in the underemployment rate.
However, the index has still yet to fully recover from the impacts of the pandemic and also remains below the levels seen a year earlier and at the end of 2021.
“It’s great that we are seeing an overall pick up in women’s financial progress and gender equality outcomes, but we need momentum and not regression in the gender gaps in employment and wages, if we are to claw our way back from the disruptions of the pandemic,” said Financy Women’s Index founder Bianca Hartge-Hazelman.
Gender equality in ASX 200 board leadership is closer to being achieved than any other indicator tracked by Financy, with the timeframe to equality improving from 6.4 years to 6.2 years based on the rate of annual growth seen over the last decade.
“But the pace of progress towards gender equality in leadership continues to slow and because of this, it is questionable if we will even achieve equality before 2030 in this area,” noted Ms Hartge-Hazelman.
The time to equality in superannuation was steady at 19 years while unpaid work was the worst performing area of the index with equality predicted to take 58.7 years.
Meanwhile, the expected timeframe to equality in the employment indicator dipped from 26.3 years in the March quarter to 26 years in June.
“The Financy Women’s Index has shown welcome progress in the June quarter but is still down from its 2020 high and there remains a long way to go before women achieve economic equality with men,” commented AMP chief economist, Shane Oliver.
“The pandemic showed a path forward in enabling more flexible working, but it also had a darker side in seeing many women take on more of the tasks around the family and home. The key is to build on the positives and keep the momentum to improvement going.”
Based on the latest average weekly wages data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the gender pay gap reached 14.1 per cent in May.
Jon Bragg is a journalist for Momentum Media's Investor Daily, nestegg and ifa. He enjoys writing about a wide variety of financial topics and issues and exploring the many implications they have on all aspects of life.