26 September 2023

Gender taskforce to see where the money goes

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The South Australian Office for Women has established a new taskforce to explore the gender pay gap (GPG) between women and male employees and to tackle the social and economic factors that lead to the difference.

According to the Office, eliminating the gap between the average earnings of men and women in South Australia is one of the organisation’s goals which will go by the name Gender Pay Gap Taskforce.

The Taskforce, made up of SA sector and industry leaders and chaired by Irene Pnevmatikos, is to meet for the first time this month.

“While South Australia has the smallest pay gap in the country of 7.4%, there is still more work to do,” the Office said.

“The Taskforce’s objectives are to identify the specific issues which lead and contribute to the gender pay gap in South Australia, consult with subject matter experts, provide high-level independent advice to the Minister and make recommendations on actions to reduce the gap,” it said.

“The Taskforce will meet over a two-year period.”

It said the work of the Taskforce would sit alongside a range of other measures the State Government has committed to work towards to achieve gender equality.

“(The Taskforce) will provide independent advice to the Minister for Women and the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, and the South Australian Government on issues related to the gender pay gap in South Australian workplaces.

It said the factors that include the difference include: Conscious and unconscious discrimination and bias in hiring and pay decisions; Women and men working in different industries and different jobs, with female-dominated industries and jobs attracting lower wages; Lack of workplace flexibility to accommodate caring and other responsibilities, especially in senior (higher paying) roles; and Women’s disproportionate share of unpaid caring and domestic work, including greater time out of the workforce for caring responsibilities.

‘The overarching role of the Taskforce is to identify the factors and issues that lead to the GPG in South Australia, including in public, private, and not-for-profit workplaces,” the Office said.

“It will do this by undertaking research on key South Australian industries, consulting with subject matter experts and a broad range of people to ensure diverse views are represented,” it said.

“The goal of the Taskforce will be to identify opportunities and make recommendations to the State Government on steps that can be taken to eliminate the gap between the average earnings of men and women in South Australia.”

Included among the members of the Taskforce are the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment, Erma Ranieri; Office for Women Director, Dr Sanjugta Vas Dev (ex-officio); Equal Opportunity Commissioner SA, Jodeen Carney; and Remuneration Tribunal SA President, Matthew O’Callaghan.

More information about the Taskforce and its duties can be accessed at this PS News link.

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