Addressing the gender pay gap on Equal Pay Day

The Shaker
Mon 07 Sep

Initiatives that help close the gender pay gap are in the spotlight on Equal Pay Day today.

The average weekly gender pay gap between full-time men and women is 17.9 per cent – a difference in earnings of $284.20 per week. While there has been a recent narrowing of the pay gap and Australia continues to move in the right direction, more needs to be done to ensure gender equality is achieved.

Women would need to work an additional 65 days from the end of the last financial year to earn the same as men.

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said the gap remains too high.

“The gender pay gap affects the economic security of women now and in the long term, including their superannuation balances later in life when women are more vulnerable to poverty and homelessness,” Minister Cash said.

“Addressing the pay gap will require action from Government, business and the community.”

“The Coalition Government is taking a concerted and multifaceted approach to addressing the gender pay gap in Australia as well as removing structural impediments which prevents greater workforce participation.”

The Government is supporting more women into work, which can provide greater pay equity and secure stronger economic security for women. Minister Cash said over 171,000 more women are in jobs today than at the time of the 2013 election.

“We are focussed on delivering a more flexible and responsive child care system —providing more options for working families to balance work with caring responsibilities,” Minister Cash said.

“Our Jobs and Small Business package is also helping small business to grow and contribute to employment growth.”

“Furthermore, the Government is supporting more women into higher paid occupations and industries, as well as improving gender diversity in leadership and decision-making roles.”

Minister Cash called on the private sector, as the largest employer of Australian women, to do what it can to improve pay equity.

“In the private sector, the gender pay gap is 21.3 per cent compared to 12.2 per cent in the public sector,” Minister Cash said.

Minister Cash recently met with business leaders and representatives from the women’s sector to discuss how Government and business can work together to increase women’s workforce participation and ensure that superannuation supports women in retirement.

“I will be working with my colleagues the Treasurer and the Minister for Social Services on the tax reform process to ensure that any measures adopted incentivise and support women’s workforce participation,” Minister Cash said.

Released by Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash