26 September 2023

Gender payment equity still days short

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The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) has announced that 2023’s Equal Pay Day is to be 25 August this year when Australian women need to work for 56 extra days after the end of the financial year to make up the difference caused by the gender pay gap.

The Agency marked the day by noting that the 56 days were missing pay matter.

Chief Executive of WGEA, Mary Wooldridge said Equal Pay Day was a call to action as it was 1969 that Australian women won the right to equal pay.

“But something is still missing,” Ms Wooldridge said.

“For some people, the gender pay gap is hard to understand or does not seem relevant to their everyday lives,” she said.

“But for women in Australia, the gender pay gap matters.

“The dollars and cents represent the value placed on their skills, labour and time. It represents missing money that could be spent to meet everyday costs of living.”

Ms Wooldridge said what was missing mattered.

“It matters for individuals, it matters for families and it matters for Australia,” she said.

“The gender pay gap costs the Australian economy $51.8 billion every year.”

She said the February 2023 ABS average weekly earnings data showed that, on average, women earned 87 cents for every $1 earned by men.

“That’s a difference of $253 every week and $13,183 every year,” she said.

“At the average rate of pay for women, this is the equivalent of eight extra weeks of work (56 days).

“It doesn’t matter how you cut the data, the outcome is still the same: there’s a gender pay gap in every industry and every occupation that means women earn less than their male colleagues,” Ms Wooldridge said.

“Sometimes you don’t notice something until it’s not there. That’s why we are asking employers to take action to reduce their gender pay gap and demonstrate that what’s missing matters.”

A social media toolkit can be accessed at this PS News link with WGEA’s Equal Pay Day countdown at this link.

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