Progress stalls on bridging gender pay gap

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Australian women are earning nearly $26,000 less than their male colleagues as efforts to close the gender pay gap stall.

The latest data released by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency shows the pay gap remains stuck at 22.8 per cent.

This means for the first time, the gap in the 2021/22 financial year was the same as the year before, with women paid $0.77 for every $1 earned by men.

Seven in 10 employers have pay gaps that favour men while women continue to be under-represented in leadership.

The agency’s census found men were more likely to hold managerial positions, even in female-dominated sectors such as healthcare and education.

The number of female chief executives rose from 19.4 per cent in the previous year to 22.3 per cent. And by just five per cent since 2014.

About one in five boards do not have any women members.

Women in other senior levels of management earned almost $100,000 less over the same period.

Only two industries have more women in management than their proportion in the workforce, these include the grouping of transport, postal work and warehousing (26 per cent managers) and mining (21 per cent managers).

Workplace Gender Equality Agency director Mary Wooldridge said the stalled progress should encourage employers to take action.

“Lasting change requires employers to make bold, creative choices that send a signal to all employees that gender equality is a core part of their business strategy and a priority for those in leadership and managerial roles,” Ms Wooldridge said.

“Leading employers are already putting solutions in place that address challenges like workforce shortages by tailoring factory shifts around school pick-up and drop-off times or promoting flexible hours or part-time work arrangements among managers and executives.”

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