Finance Work Australian gender pay gap now at 20 per cent
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Australian gender pay gap now at 20 per cent

Australia's gender pay gap is worse than Rwanda's and that of Mozambique. Photo: Getty
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Men in Australia are still paid on average around 20 per cent more than women, according to a workforce diversity specialist, with figures from the Australian Council of Trade Unions showing the gender pay gap has grown steadily over the last decade.

In addition, men and women are paid differently despite performing the same role within Australia’s top accounting firms, workforce diversity specialist Conrad Liveris told ABC’s PM.

Workforce diversity specialist Conrad Liveris. Photo: supplied/Catalyst
Workforce diversity specialist Conrad Liveris. Photo: supplied/Catalyst

Mr Liveris claims top accounting firms including PriceWaterHouse Coopers, EY and Deloitte are paying men and women differently for the same roles with pay gaps ranging from 1 to 5 per cent.

“Even at their highest level, at the partnership level, they were finding about a 5 per cent gender pay gap in a like-for-like basis,” Mr Liveris said.

Deloitte declined a request for an interview but in a written statement the accounting firm said:

“The gender pay gap for our most senior job level is higher than 1 per cent due to the experience of staff at this level ranging from less than six months to more than thirty years and the greater prevalence of males at the upper end of this range.

“We have eliminated any gender pay gaps at this level on a like for like experience basis.”

It's an international issue – Germans rally in Berlin over the wage gap between the sexes.
It’s an international issue – Germans rally in Berlin over the wage gap between the sexes. Photo: Getty

Mr Liveris said he was encouraged by Deloitte’s willingness to change.

“The big accounting firms are doing a lot of the heavy lifting here.

“They are the ones who are using their influence in a really positive way to actually show that they themselves can do it, so the broader Australian business community can as well,” he said.

Mr Liveris said official weekly earnings data released by the Bureau of Statistics last week showed men, on average, are paid around 20 per cent more than women in Australia and the healthcare sector is among the worst for differences in pay, based on gender.

“We see a huge gender pay gap of almost $500 per week on average between men and women,” Mr Liveris said.

 

“One of the really interesting things about healthcare as an area of work is that 80 per cent of the workforce is female.”

Figures from the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) show the gender pay gap has grown steadily over the last decade from around 15 per cent in 2004, to a record high in 2015 before falling slightly in 2016.

The ACTU said Australia has declined in the Global Gender Gap Index from 15th in 2006 to 36th in 2015, placing the country below developing countries like Rwanda and Mozambique.

Mr Liveris said at the heart of the problem is that work done by women is valued less than that done by men.

 

– ABC

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