Leading Issues Journal 2016

November 2016


Women make up half of the nation’s workforce but earn only 77 per cent of men’s average full-time income, according to the latest gender equality scorecard released in November 2016 by The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA). The new data shows that progress continues to be slow and inequality continues to be persistent. The average full-time female employee took home $26,853 less than the average male employee in 2015-16, with the salary difference rising to $93,884 at the top level of management. Women are also under-represented in leadership roles: holding just 16.3 per cent of CEO and 37.4 per cent of all manager roles.

However, the scorecard shows improvement in key gender equality indicators with lower pay gaps, greater movement of women into management roles and increased action from employers to address gender equality. Among the key figures included in the scorecard (with percentage point movement since 2013-14):

  • Gender pay gap (full-time total remuneration): 23.1% (down 1.6 pp)
  • Largest industry gender pay gap: Financial and Insurance Services: 33.5% (down 2.6 pp)
  • Key Management Personnel who are women: 28.5% (up 2.4 pp)
  • Employers with policies to support gender equality: 70.7% (up 4.5 pp)
  • Employers who have conducted a gender pay gap analysis: 27.0% (up 3.0 pp)
  • Appointments of women to manager roles: 42.6% (new data point)

“The data confirms gender pay gaps in favour of men in every industry and the under-representation of women in management and leadership roles…At the same time, it shows employers are stepping up to the challenge in greater numbers with proactive gender equality policies. For the first time, more than 70 per cent of employers reported they have policies in place to support gender equality,” WGEA Director Libby Lyons said

This year’s report highlights the sharp divide between male and female-dominated industries, showing that 60 per cent of Australians work in an industry dominated by a single gender and graduates are overwhelmingly entering fields dominated by their own gender.

“42.6 per cent of those appointed to managerial roles last year were women. So even though only 37.4 per cent of managers are currently women, we can expect that figure to trend up as more women rise through the ranks. Your boss today is still much more likely to be a man, but the data shows we are moving toward gender equality among managers,” Ms Lyons added.

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) in December announced the list of 2016 WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) citation holders. Despite more rigorous criteria this year 106 organisations received the citation, up from 90 last year and 76 in 2014.

Trends among this year’s recipients include:

  • flexibility for all employees across an organisation
  • programs to support women into leadership and technical positions
  • tailored parental leave and return-to-work policies
  • supporting men’s caring responsibilities
  • robust analysis and correction of gender pay gaps

2016 EOCGE citation holders range from small professional services firms to very large organisations including universities and banks, with male-dominated, female-dominated and mixed industries represented.

See how EOCGE employers are finding new ways to progress gender equality at https://www.wgea.gov.au/eocge-articles/eocge-employers-find-new-ways-progress-gender-equality

This edition features a resourceful national website, Centsable that features a range of online resources to access to assist women with financial and other issues of concern. The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe Film which will be released for community viewing in 2017 is a must see film that documents the stories of four African women, Aminata, Rosemary, Yordy and Yarrie who play themselves in a moving film based on their own terrifying experiences of civil war, rape, sexual abuse and violence. The film and original play has been a sell-out success from its very first show. Also included is the new work and published writing of Lin McDevitt-Pugh on Networking and visionary personal reflections on the art of care by Marita Mayengehama, a Registered Nurse.

Diann Rodgers-Healey, PhD

Leading Issues Journal

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