According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, recent trends among the employers taking action to address gender inequality include:
- Entrenching flexible work across the organisation
- Implementing programs to support women into leadership
- Tailoring parental leave policies to support both women and men
- Launching initiatives to encourage women to return to work after a career break
- Supporting men’s caring responsibilities
- Setting targets to achieve gender-equal graduate recruitment intakes
- Robust analysis and correcting of gender pay gaps
Over the past five years, Australian non-public employers with more than 100 employees have had to report annually on six gender equality indicators. So how is Australia doing?
The gender pay gap has declined in Australia and women have increased their presence in management over the past five years.
But men still earn 21.3% more than women, on average, and at the current rate, female CEOs will have to wait another 80 years, until 2100, before achieving equal representation.
Data about the workforce
We know this from the annual reports that Australian employers with more than 100 employees have to lodge with the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA).
While some countries such as the UK collect data on the pay gap and bonus pay gap, in Australia the focus is on understanding what is driving the gender pay gap.
Employers are required to provide data on six gender equality indicators.
“Australia is the only country that collects the type of data we do,” says WGEA Engagement Executive Manager, Kate Lee.
“The data tells us what is happening in our workforce.”
The Workplace Gender Equality Agency is an Australian Government statutory agency charged with promoting and improving gender equality in Australian workplaces.
The principle of equal pay for equal work was recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, although it wasn’t until 1969 that Australian women workers were granted equal pay.
While progress towards gender equality has been achieved in the fifty years since then, the gender pay gap still exists.
For the last 20 years the gender pay gap has hovered around 15 to 20%. And still in 2019, women continue to earn less than men, are less likely to advance their careers as far as men, and accumulate less retirement or superannuation savings.
“The gender pay gap isn’t closing fast enough, but it is closing,” says Lee.