Top Australian Companies Lag in Equal Pay for Women Finds Report

By: GWL Team | Friday, 1 March 2024

A new report by the Australian Government reveals shocking Gender Pay Gap that persists in some of the country’s top companies. The Gender Pay Gap in these firms is much higher than the national Gap i.e., 19%.

The entire world is inching towards building an equitable space for women. A good number of countries have realised the importance of women’s participation in every sector and they are taking major steps to fill all the gaps between men and women. Companies across the globe are also trying to make their work-environment more gender-inclusive place where women receive equal respect and opportunity.

Several countries’ governments are also taking initiative to tackle gender gaps that have always been persisted in various aspects of life such as, households, workplaces etc. Various schemes and strategies are being implemented to make the world a more inclusive and diverse society. In the past few decades, women have been allowed to showcase their talent not just in those four walls of their homes but in the corporate realm as well. However, there are majority of countries and companies which are still lagging in closing the gender gap in their workplaces.

Apart from all the aspects, there have been numerous discussions on Gender Pay Gap. The tough reality is that men get paid much more than women for their work. It’s hard to believe that even the big players in the business realm also have this gap in their workplace. The gender pay gap can impact the economy of the country and monetary growth of the companies as well.

Gender Pay Gap, also known as Gender Wage Gap have been considered by the Government of Australia. On March 30, 2023, the Australian Government has passed a legislation expecting firms with more than 100 employees to take closing gender pay gap into consideration. In the year 2023, the country’s government released the statistics for National Gender Pay Gap which was 13.3%.

Katy Gallagher who is the Minister of Women and a former Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory, exclaimed in a statement saying, “On current projections it will take another 26 years to close the gender pay gap.”

Women struggling for Gender Pay Gap Snag

The race towards an equal pay and equal society is not going to be easy with people having conservative ideologies. Progress has been there. But to what extent? This question often comes to our minds! Women have always been resilient and adaptable. From their homes to workplaces, they have always proved why their work needs to be acknowledged but majority of the times, they haven’t received the returns that their work deserves.

Several reports indicate towards the same thing over and over again, with different statistics but until and unless the mentality of people changes towards women till then no reports, no policies can tackle this gap between men and women.

Gender Equality in Australia Takes Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Australia has been a male-dominated country but after the Sex Discrimination Act was enacted in the year 1984, the country started moving into a somewhat-equal society. After a long journey, Australia was honoured as the world's safest country for women by New World Wealth research group in the year 2017.

Despite everything, Australia still lags when it comes to Gender Pay Gap. According to a report which has been published by the Government of Australia, some of the top companies are paying men more than their women employees. Some such companies include Commonwealth Bank, national carrier, Qantas and oil and gas explorer, Woodside.

The Gender Pay Gap in these firms are much higher than the national Gap i.e., 19%. Because of the 2023 legislation, these firms had to unveil their disburse of remuneration amongst Male and female employees.

Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) said that the median total remuneration gap for 2022/23 was 19% in favour of men and the difference in median base pay was 14.5%. That means the average total pay was 21.7%. Narrowly 1/3 of the firms have had a median gender pay gap targeting between -5% to +5%.

Report Culmination: Australia must do Better

The report has become an eye-opener for government and the people of Australia. The statistics revealed by the report shall help the people to understand that even the giant players in the business market are somewhere lagging when it comes to equality.

Katy Gallagher states, “It's not about shaming, it's not about naming, it's not about saying men should be paid less. It's about driving that change that we need to see in organisations to make sure that women are getting a fair crack at opportunity and that we are closing the gender pay gap over time.”

With the reports emphasis on fostering gender-inclusivity in the workplace in terms of remuneration, we also need to change our mentalities and should take a step forward for in empowering women. Women should get what they deserve and we have to become more thoughtful towards gender equality.