Equal Pay Day Highlights Inequity In Weekly Earnings


MANY people have heard of Equal Pay Day, but few realise that the date changes each year, because it is held on the day that marks how many days it takes from the end of the financial year for women’s pay to catch up to men’s.

This year’s Equal Pay Day falls on August 31, 61 days since the beginning of the financial year.

In 2021, the national gender pay gap is 14.2%, up from 13.4% in 2020.

On average, women working full-time earn $1,575.50 per week while men working full-time earn $1,837.00 and the full-time average weekly earnings difference between women and men is $261.50.

Australian Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW Australia) is marking Equal Pay Day 2021 by joining Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) to call on Australians to ask #WhatsYourPayGap in their workplaces and industries.

They see this as a crucial step towards bridging the divide and say that research indicates that when organisations analyse and take action on pay equity, the gender pay gap closes.

Major factors that contribute to the gender pay gap are discrimination and bias in hiring and pay decisions and that women and men work in different industries and different jobs, with female-dominated industries attracting lower wages.

Women still do a disproportionate share of unpaid caring and domestic work, there is still a lack of workforce flexibility to accommodate caring and other responsibilities, especially in senior roles and women’s greater time out of the workforce impacts their career progression and opportunities.

Jacqueline Graham, BPW Australia President said, “We want our clubs to join in the call to start a conversation with members and their networks about the gender pay gap, what it means to them and how we can help to close it.

“BPW Australia surveyed women earlier this year on their experiences and expectations of the future of work and we found women were telling us they lack the confidence on current policy settings valuing their work, for example the skills and pay for someone pushing the wheelbarrow vs someone pushing the wheelchair.”

However, some workplaces are moving forward.

The President of BPW Coffs Harbour, Sofia Ellington, said of her workplace, “At ANZ, the representation of women in leadership and achieving gender equality is a business imperative – it’s about accessing the talent, markets and economic opportunities that gender equality brings.

“Equal remuneration is a key component of improving women’s economic security and progressing equality and ANZ is proactive in this area, with appropriate strategies and policy in place to ensure no gender bias occurs,” she said.


By Andrew VIVIAN

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