All the latest news and views from the CPSU team

Gender pay gap still a reality in Australia

IT’S Equal Pay Day and depending on their life stage, many Australian women are disadvantaged when it comes to what they earn.

ACTU President Ged Kearney said Equal Pay Day was reminder of just how much less women earn compared to men.

“What we continue to see are generations of Australian women starting behind and that wage gap increases throughout their life time until they retire on much, much less,” Ms Kearney said.


An ACTU Report showed that in 2013 the gap was sitting at 17.5%, which meant women earn on average 82.5% of men’s earnings.


This report lists the following reasons for this gap:


  • Women do the same work as men but earn a lower salary (incl. Superannuation, penalty rates, bonuses, overtime, performance payments, etc).
  • Women face barriers to both development and access to leadership opportunities
  • The effect of breaks in service
  • A difference between industry sectors with a low value placed on traditionally female dominated work.


The report also showed:


  • Men aged 25-34 who have children earn more than twice the annual income of their female peers, with this gap remaining through their working life. The income gap for men and women without children was still significant, with women without children aged 45-54 earning 69% of what men without children earn ($37,000 pa compared to $53,900 pa).
  • 1 in 5 women report having faced discrimination in the workplace while they were pregnant.
  • Average superannuation payments for women ($63,412) are 42% less than men’s ($109,609).
  • Female graduate salaries were 90.9% of male graduate salaries, while female post-graduate salaries were 85% of male post-graduate salaries.


“We know it’s hard and there are many barriers women face to achieving equality at work, but women must be strong and stand up for their rights- we must not be apologetic about having family responsibilities, we must not keep trading off pay rises and promotions against family friendly hours, and we must identify discrimination and call it when we see it,” Ms Kearney said.


Read the full report below.

Pay gap over a life cycle report


No Comments