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Australian Gender Pay Gap Narrows, But Men Still Twice More Likely To Earn More Than $120,000 Per Year

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency revealed new data today that shows that the overall gender pay gap continued its downward trend for the 2020-21 financial year.

However, it found that women are still earning less than men.

The findings show that for every $10 a man earns, a woman earns around $7.72

The pay gap includes super, bonuses and additional payments but excludes salaries for chief executives and heads of business, 81% of whom are men.

More than 60% of women are employed in part-time or casual roles, and their work is converted into “full-time equivalent” earnings for the sake of calculations.

One in three women earned less than $60,550, putting them in the bottom 25 per cent of all workers, while a third of men earned at least $120,000.

It is important to note that the pay gap is not a measure of whether women earn less than men for the same job – that is pay equality and is a legal requirement.

Instead, it refers to an indicator of women’s overall position in the workforce, representing how they and their work are valued.

Women are “substantially over-represented at the bottom level of all earners”.

The most significant gaps are in construction, financial and insurance services, and the professional, scientific and technical services sectors, which have pay gaps between 24.7% and 30.6%.

Agency director Mary Wooldridge said: “From the very top-down, women are undervalued in Australian businesses and under-represented where decisions are made.”

“There need to be clear pathways for women to work in the right line roles so they can take the next step to leading organisations,” she said.

Ms Wooldridge said that nearly half of employers who audited their pay rates took no action because they believed the gender gap was “explainable or justified”.

“However, just because a pay gap is understandable doesn’t mean it’s right: action can and should be taken,” she said.