Data released by Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) shows that the national gender pay gap in Australia is 14%, with women earning on average $241.50 less than men.
For the past 20 years, Australia’s national gender pay gap has been between 14% and 19%, reaching a peak in November 2014 at 18.5%. This year’s figures showed a decrease of 0.6% since May 2018.
The industry with the lowest gap was retail (3.9%) while financial and insurance services had the highest at 24.4%. RMIT University academic and economist Leonora Riss commented that this high figure may be due to the prevalence of individual wage negotiation in the financial sector, explaining: ‘It’s not necessarily because men are better negotiators, but they are rewarded more favourably for negotiating.’
The state with the lowest gap is South Australia (9.2%) while Western Australia had the highest, at 21.8%.
28 August 2019 is Un-Equal Pay Day in Australia, representing the additional 59 days from the end of the previous financial year that women have to work to earn the same as men.
Libby Lyons, Director of the WGEA commented, ‘Women comprise half of Australia's workforce. Yet over their working life, they will earn less than men, encounter more obstacles to their career progression than men and accumulate less superannuation and retirement savings than men.’