Pay equity means equal pay for work of equal or comparable value, regardless of gender.
The gender pay gap measures the difference between women's and men's average weekly full-time equivalent earnings, expressed as a percentage of men's earnings. This is calculated by using Australian Bureau of Statistics' Average Weekly Full-Time Earnings data (cat. No. 6302.0)
The national gender pay gap is currently 16% and has hovered between 15% and 19% for the past two decades.1
Equal Pay Day marks the date of the additional time women would have to work on average since the previous financial year to make the same amount as men.
Lower wage rates mean lower lifetime earnings for women. The gender pay gap has implications for women's financial security, particularly in old age.
The gender pay gap is influenced by a number of interrelated factors, including:
- stereotypes about women and men's roles and the way women and men 'should' engage in the workforce
- women and men working in different industries and different jobs. Historically, female-dominated industries and jobs have attracted lower wages than male-dominated industries and jobs
- a lack of women in senior positions, and a lack of part-time or flexible senior roles. Women still undertake most of society's unpaid caring work and may find it difficult to access senior roles
- women's more precarious attachment to the workforce (largely due to their unpaid caring responsibilities)
- differences in education, work experience and seniority
- discrimination, both direct and indirect.2
- Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Gender Pay Gap Statistics February 2017, https://www.wgea.gov.au/sites/default/files/gender-pay-gap-statistics.pdf accessed 11 July 2017.
- Workplace Gender Equality Agency, About pay equity, https://www.wgea.gov.au/learn/about-pay-equity, accessed 24 November 2014.