News: Gender pay gap costing Australian firms $1B weekly

Compensation & Benefits

Gender pay gap costing Australian firms $1B weekly

The gender pay gap remains 'stubbornly unchanged' despite broad action against inequality in the public and private sectors, KPMG said.
Gender pay gap costing Australian firms $1B weekly

Gender pay gap continues to be a serious concern in Australian workplaces, costing women nearly AU$1 billion  a week, according to KPMG.  

The international accounting firm released the latest results of its She’s Price(d)less: The economics of the gender pay gap report. The study found that the national pay is at an alarming $966m per week or $51.8bn per year. The figure was based on labour force participation rates and incomes.

That means female workers collectively earn $51.8bn less compared to their male co-workers.

The researchers analysed data from the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey, revealing several factors that drive the national pay gap. 

The first factor is gender discrimination, which accounts for 36% of the $2.56 hourly pay discrepancy. The second is caring for family and workforce participation (33%), and the third is the type of job and industry sector of employment (24%).

“Since our last report in 2019, the gender pay gap has remained stubbornly unchanged despite action across the public and private sector to tackle gender inequality,” KPMG Chairman Alison Kitchen said.

“This report shows that gender discrimination continues to be the single largest contributor to the gender pay gap. It also shows a worrying trend in the rise of industry and occupation segregation. We must collectively increase our efforts to build a better and fairer Australia.”

Read more: Australia jobs summit to focus on equal pay, more opportunities for women

The KPMG study was conducted together with the Diversity Council Australia (DCA), and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA). 

The latest edition of the She’s Price(d)less report marks the first time that data from WGEA’s workplace survey and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) were analysed alongside data from the HILDA survey. This allowed the researchers to examine the impacts of the gender pay gap across five different industries.

Mary Wooldridge, director of the WGEA, believes employers play a key role in helping close the gender pay gap.

“Greater action by employers to address the systemic drivers of the gender pay gap is an investment in our future economic prosperity,” Wooldridge said. 

“Actions employers can take today include undertaking gender pay gap audits and actioning findings, increasing the share of women in leadership positions, and enhancing availability and uptake of parental leave and flexible work by men and women. 

WGEA collaborates with employers making these changes and seeing real, tangible benefits for their workforce and for their business.”

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Topics: Compensation & Benefits, Diversity

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