Gender Pay Gap Remains High
20 August 2012 at 10:12 am
New data shows that the gender pay gap between women and men remains stubbornly high at 17.5 per cent, according to a Government workplace agency.
Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that the gender pay gap between men and women remains at 17.5 per cent.
The ABS figures show that women working full time earn on average $1,193.50 per week, but men pocket an extra $252.80, earning $1446.30 per week.
Helen Conway, Director of the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA), said that workers, primarily women, who interrupt their careers to care for their families suffer career and financial disadvantage which contributes to the gender pay gap.
“There needs to be a shift in Australian culture to make it acceptable for both women and men to access flexible working arrangements, without financial penalty, and still have opportunities to progress their careers,” Conway said.
“We know from employers that embrace a culture of flexible work practices that they experience better retention rates, lower recruitment and training costs, and stronger staff morale. It’s a win-win for Australian business and the community.”
According to EOWA, research shows that a woman who takes one year of maternity leave experiences, on her return to work, a reduction in her hourly wage of nearly five per cent, with the figure moving to 10 per cent after a three year break.
ABS statistics show that between the age of 45 to 49 men are earning considerably more than women (26.7 per cent more). At the age of 50, the pay gap reduces slightly to 20.3 per cent but gradually increases to 26.6 per cent at the age of 65.
The impending Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012, to be debated soon by the Senate, will require non-public sector organisations with 100 or more employees to report against gender equality indicators, including the availability and uptake of flexible working conditions for women and men.