Reporting on the gender pay gap in Australia misses the full picture

Reporting on the gender pay gap in Australia does not produce any constructive change.

Despite being one of the first countries to introduce gender equality legislation, Australia ranks last, along with the United Kingdom, in reporting on the gender pay gap in the “Bridging the Gap? ” report from King’s College London and the Australian National University.

The study used 11 indicators to rank women’s wages relative to men in Australia, France, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and the UK. Australia and the UK each scored four out of eleven, while Spain scored eight and a half. France came in second (8), followed by South Africa (5.5) and Sweden (5).

A significant proportion of the Australian workforce is not reflected in the gender pay gap data.Credit:Shutterstock

Women in Australia have to work an extra 61 days to earn the same as the average man. The gender pay gap for full-time workers in Australia is 14.2 percent, only marginally better than at the turn of the century, and 30 percent for all workers, the report authors said.

dr. Miriam Glennie, who co-authored the report, said the extent of gender inequality in Australia is hidden by the fact that the country only requires employers with 100 or more employees to submit an annual report to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.


“The biggest failure in Australia and the UK is that, unlike the other European countries surveyed, neither country is forcing companies to work to close their gap and there is no mandate to implement action plans that lead to specific results. or improvements for women,” Dr. Glennie said.

For the first time ever, every company in the ASX 200 index now has at least one female director, and the representation of women on boards of directors rises to 33.7 percent. Nicola Wakefield Evans, director of Lendlease and Macquarie and chairman of the 30% club, said this was achieved by making publicly traded companies’ quarterly diversity reports.

dr. However, Glennie said that while board diversity was encouraging, by requiring only private sector employers to report to the agency, a significant proportion of the Australian workforce is not reflected in the data on the gender pay gap. women.

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