As new legislation gets implemented to champion the cause of diversity in the workplace and women take up more Executive Leadership Roles, data reveals that much work needs to be done at the level of compensation. Men have not only been found to out-earn women at every stage of their working life, but the pay gap is the highest at the peak of their careers.
Average remuneration for women is highest at $97,734 when they are between 35 to 44 years of age, but even that is much less than what men in the same age range, who receive an average remuneration of $125,566.
The pay problem is accentuated by the fact that in every age group, no more than 50% of women were in full-time work in 2021, yet more than 90% of managers are working full-time. This means women are missing out on management roles, according to the report. Men over 55 are twice as likely as women to be in management positions.
In the 55-plus age group, women hold about 28% of CEO and senior executive roles, according to WGEA. However, they are paid on average A$93,000 less than their male peers. The average gap in the 45-55 age group is A$81,000.
"Too many employers are missing a huge talent pool by not encouraging and enabling women to work additional hours or in the managerial ranks. With effective policies, workplaces can both enable women to work full-time if they chose to and make higher-paid managerial roles more accessible for those who work part-time," said Mary Wooldridge, Director of WEGA, in a statement.
These include gender-neutral parental leave policies, childcare subsidies, and flexible work policies. Workplaces must also enable career progression for part-time workers, she added.
Australia was No. 15 on the World Economic Forum’s global gender gap index in 2006 but dropped to 50th in 2021. Moreover, it’s fallen from 12th to 70th in terms of economic participation and opportunity for women in the same period, despite last year ranking joint first place for educational attainment. Thus, economic opportunity for women is one of the significant issues facing Australia’s newly elected Labor government, and it remains to be seen how they harbour in grounded change.