Equal pay gap fails to close - September 2014

Filed under: Australian Politics, Discrimination,

The Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick says she’s disappointed that Australian women are earning 18 per cent less than their male colleagues, despite ongoing efforts to try and close the gap.

“It’s alarming that the pay gap between men and women has hardly changed in the past 20 years. Women are earning an average of $14,500 less than men every year,” said Commissioner Broderick.

September 5 was Equal Pay Day – “a chance,” said the Commissioner, “for us to reflect on the 66 days of work an Australian woman would have to do to earn the same as the men.”

Gender stereotyping, industry and occupational segregation, caring responsibilities, discrimination, and the under-representation of women in leadership positions, particularly in male-dominated industries, were among the key factors contributing to lower wages among female workers, she said.

In its National Review on Discrimination Related to Pregnancy and Return to Work after Parental Leave, the Australian Human Rights Commission found one in two mothers reported discrimination.

“There’s no doubt that pregnancy and caring roles significantly reduce women’s ability to earn comparative wages and in many cases, maintain or gain employment,” said Ms Broderick.

The AHRC also noted that Australia was ranked number one internationally when it comes to women attaining education but when it comes to wage equality, we are 55th.

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