Home Economy Australia’s gender pay gap report shows men earn 22% more

Australia’s gender pay gap report shows men earn 22% more

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SYDNEY – Male employees in Australian private firms earn around 22% more than their women colleagues, official data showed on Tuesday, as the government released for the first time gender pay gaps at companies with more than 100 employees.

Under legislation passed in March 2023 Australian companies were required to reveal early this year the pay of their male and female employees. The Labor government hopes naming the companies will force them to narrow the gap.

The average total remuneration gender pay gap for 2022/23 was 21.7% in favour of men, while the difference in median base pay was 14.5%, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) said. Only one-third of companies have a median gender pay gap between the target range of -5% and +5%.

“By shining a light on gender pay gaps at an employer level, we are arming individuals and organisations with the evidence they need to take meaningful action to accelerate closing the gender pay gap in Australian workplaces,” federal Minister for Women Katy Gallagher said in a statement.

Several countries have been taking steps to force companies to report the difference in earnings of male and female staff. Britain in 2017 made it mandatory for all companies with more than 250 employees, resulting in the gap reducing over the years. The European Union enacted similar legislation in 2021.

Australia’s top banks and energy firms were some of the biggest laggards in gender pay parity. The median total remuneration gender pay gap at Commonwealth Bank, Australia’s largest bank was 29.9% while the gap at top power producer AGL was 33.2%.

Australian units of international investment banks like UBS and Morgan Stanley had more men holding the top jobs, driving the pay gaps in these firms to over 40%.

At the other end of the scale, the gap at supermarket operator Woolworths, one of Australia’s biggest employers, was just 5.7%.It was 28.5% at the Australian operations of Thomson Reuters, the parent company of Reuters News.

CBA, AGL, Woolworths, UBS and Thomson Reuters did not immediately respond to request seeking comments on the report.

The report also showed significant variation across industries, with the mid-point employer gender pay gap at 31.8% in construction while it was 1.9% at hotels and restaurants. — Reuters

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