2019 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the landmark 1969 equal pay decision, that first saw Australian women win the right to be paid the same as men for doing the same work, or "equal pay for equal work" as the movement is often plastered on protest signs. As another year draws to a close, data released by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) proves we still have a long way to go when it comes to equal pay. In fact, the gender wage gap still lies at a whopping 21% (yeah?), which means, according to a study by Nestpick, leaves women working fundamentally for free from November 8th right up until December 31st.
In the five decades since Australia's landmark decision, workplace participation rates have reached record levels. Yet, the pay gap remains stagnant. The WGEA's data shows men still out-earn their female counterparts, on average, by 20.8%. The data also showed pay gaps persist across every industry, occupation and manager category.
But all is not lost. The WGEA data proves that when employers take action, it makes all the difference. "More women are getting promoted to managerial roles. More employers are offering paid parental leave to their staff. More organisations are implementing policies or strategies to support gender equality or promote flexible working, as well as measuring their pay gaps and taking action to close them," Libby Lyons, Director of the WGEA, says.
"Most encouragingly, the data shows a remarkable 13.3 percentage point rise in the number of employers with a policy or strategy on family and domestic violence. At a time when our nation is confronting the scourge of domestic violence, employer action on this issue can make an important contribution."
Read more of the data here.