26 September 2023

Workplace Agency calls for equal pay

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The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) marked Equal Pay Day last week (29 August) by calling on Australian employers to take action on gender equality.

Director of WGEA, Mary Wooldridge said the Day was the 60th extra day after the end of the financial year that Australian women needed to work on average, to earn the same annual salary as men.

“Equal Pay Day 2022 recognises that it has taken until August 29 to close the national gender pay gap, which is 14.1 per cent this year – a rise of 0.3 percentage points over the last six months,” Ms Wooldridge said.

“WGEA is encouraging employers to make gender equality a priority by implementing five achievable, key steps that will speed up the rate of change.”

She said the steps included conducting a pay gap audit, setting targets to promote gender equality at all levels, designing leadership roles that could be part-time, normalising flexible work, and introducing a robust gender neutral paid parental leave policy.

Ms Wooldridge said employers who had already embraced the practices and incorporated gender equality as a core part of their business strategy were reporting benefits in employee recruitment and retention, productivity and company profits.

“While the gender pay gap persists, women’s skills, capabilities and potential are not being fully realised or valued,” she said.

“Further, while women are earning less, they’re spending the same as men on the essentials we all need to survive.”

The Director said taking action on gender equality was not just the right thing to do, it was a sensible business decision.

“We encourage all employers to take gender equality seriously, incorporate it into their business strategy and to take action to address it,” Ms Wooldridge said.

“This will be good for business and good for all Australians.”

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