Not cool: Aussie women are still officially paid way less than men

The gap is closing, but not enough.

By Jessica Chandra
The Devil Wears Prada Andy

A report from Australia’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) was released today, which says women are earning approximately $27,000 less than men doing the same jobs. For women working in the c-suite (top level management roles) the difference is almost $100,000. Far out.

The reports also confirmed women only make up about 16.3 percent of top management roles, despite women making up half the workforce overall. And yes, the pay gap has decreased ever so slightly since 2014-15 and 2015-16, but there’s still so far to go – that’s why Equal Pay Day, which happened on September 8 this year, was installed.

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Libby Lyons, the director of the WGEA, said, “I think in 2016 we shouldn’t still be talking about a pay gap. But, I think that there are some positive signs on the horizon.”

She said the reason the gap had closed a little – it’s now 23.1 percent – was because “organisations are recognising that this is a problem, that it is not fair that women are paid less than men and are actually taking their own action to do a gender pay gap analysis, and to sort the problem out in their own workplace.” OK, that’s definitely good progress.

Lyons also said the research showed a positive trend that could lead to more females in executive positions. “I think what we have to do is get women into the pipeline that feeds management. There is another encouraging piece of data that’s come out of this and this has shown that women, for the first time, were 42 percent of promotions and appointments into managerial roles. So, that means we are actually creating the pipeline into management and I think that in the foreseeable future we will see that number of female CEOs and senior managers increase.”

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“Foreseeable future” sounds much better than “distant future.” There’s still a long way to go, but as long as the trends show the gap is closing rather than widening… well, that’s gotta be something.