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2014-10-10

Will we ever close the gap?

This year’s gender pay gap figures as reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows the gap between average male and female earnings has grown.

The gender pay gap (GPG) which had hovered around 17.5% for a decade has blown out to 18.2% - meaning that across the economy, women earned an average of 18.2% less than men.

In March this year, the average weekly ordinary time earnings of women working full-time were $1270 per week, compared to men who earned an average weekly wage of $1532.80 per week.

Of course, this is due to a number of factors such as women ‘s work trapped in low paid industires, breaks due to parenting and caring responsibilities and discrimination against women. For example, upon graduation women across most professions start out earning a median salary $3,400 less than men. This widens over a lifetime.

No surprises that the GPG is higher in the private sector (20.2%) than the public (13.1%). Or that those on collective agreements (16.9%) fare better than those on individual contracts ( 20.6%). Unions are more active in the public sector than private and organise collectively to tackle unfairness on pay.

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