The gender pay gap is approaching $1 billion a week, and family obligations aren’t to blame

At work, women are exploited and underpaid; according to a study showing that the national wage gap is estimated at $966 million per week or $51.8 billion per year.

The study finds that gender discrimination remained the largest driver of the pay gap, according to the Economics of the Gender Pay Gap published by KPMG, Diversity Council Australia (DCA) and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA).


It accounts for 36 percent of the $2.56 hourly wage differential. Other key determinants of the pay gap include family responsibilities and employment rate (33%), as well as job type and industrial employment sector (24 percent).

KPMG Chairman Alison Kitchen said: “Since our last report in 2019, the gender pay gap has remained stubbornly unchanged despite public and private sector action to address gender inequality.

“This report shows that gender discrimination is still the biggest driver of the gender pay gap. It also shows a worrying trend in the rise of industry and occupational segregation. We must collectively step up our efforts to build a better and fairer Australia.”

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And it gets worse…

The study also includes a breakdown of the gender pay gap by income quintile, showing how gender discrimination, lack of advancement opportunities and underrepresentation in management affect women throughout their careers.


It also finds that women have a 6 percent pay gap at the start of their careers, but when they progress into top management positions, the pay gap grows to 18 percent.

Lisa Annese, CEO of DCA, said: “If we act now with purpose to address the gender pay gap, it would invest in the future economic prosperity of our country and help overcome the difficult economic conditions we face. .

“Taking action now is important for low-paid industries where women make up the majority of the workforce, such as healthcare and education, which we rely on in our daily lives.”

Industry snapshot

The report’s analysis across five key sectors (health and social assistance, education and training, retail, manufacturing and accommodation and food services) shows how gender pay inequalities persist regardless of the size of the workforce, the composition of the gender or the average wage.

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It also finds that women in feminized industries face additional challenges to achieve pay equality, with gender pay gaps greater than the national average and underrepresented in promotions and critical management positions.

UN Women calls on Australians to explore gender equality priorities

Wages and Ages: Mapping the gender pay gap based on age data series is the first to break down WGEA data by age. It shows that by 2021, no age group had more than 50 percent of women full-time, despite the fact that higher-paying leadership positions were filled almost entirely for full-time employees.

More than 90% of managers worked full time in all age groups. Work patterns vary from age 35, when men are more likely to work full-time and women more likely to work part-time or casually.

In addition, men over 55 are twice as likely as women to be in management. Two-thirds of women in leadership positions of the same age hold lower management positions.

Men earn women of all generations, the study shows. This peaks between the ages of 55 and 64, when men earn an average of 31.9 percent more than women or more than $40,000 a year. Even women over the age of 55 who have advanced into senior executive and CEO positions face significant wage differentials, earning an average of about $93,000 less per year than their male senior executive and CEO colleagues.

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The World Economic Forum currently forecasts that bridging the global gender gap will take 135.6 years, a figure that has increased due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that has stalled progress towards gender equality in several economies and industries. brought.

Australia currently ranks 50th out of 156 countries, with our efforts in education being outweighed by a poorer position in economic engagement and opportunity.

Full report here.

Full KPMG report PDF here

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