26 September 2023

Women’s Day shines on gender equality

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The Department of Communities marked International Women’s Day (8 March) by celebrating the steps taken towards gender equality in the workplace, while acknowledging more still needed to be done.

In a statement, the Department said half of all Western Australians were women and girls, with women currently making up 47 per cent of the workforce, compared to 36 per cent in 1980.

It said, however, women were over-represented in part-time and casual work.

“Despite 37 per cent of women holding a Bachelor Degree or above, compared with 29 per cent of men, Western Australia’s gender pay gap is unacceptably high — 21.9 per cent compared with 14.2 per cent across Australia,” the Department said.

“The gender pay gap starts early in Australia with 2018 salary data showing men’s undergraduate median starting salaries are greater than women’s in 16 out of 21 fields of study,” it said.

The Department said at the other end of working life women’s average superannuation balances at, or approaching retirement, were $290,000 compared to $360,000 for men.

“Women also perform around 75 per cent of all unpaid work, including caring for children and others, housework, administration and volunteering,” it said.

“The Department of Communities is continuing to build on its important work to ensure that women and girls can reach their full potential and, importantly, are safe and free from violence, discrimination and harassment in their homes, workplaces and in the community,” the Department said.

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