Home' Border Enterprise : Spring Summer 2010-2011 Contents enterprise
Vol 3. Summer/Autumn
the hot topics facing
women in the workforce.
And, unfortunately, the
news isn't that positive LATE 1994: can you cast your mind
back to what was happening at that
The country changed to eight-
digit telephone numbers, Alexander
Downer was leader of the Opposition, Jeff
Kennett was Premier of Victoria, Canberra won
the NRL premiership and Muriel's Wedding
became a box office hit. On a less "newsworthy"
note, the gender pay gaps between men and
women reached an all-time high.
From a business prospective, one would have
thought that the opportunities and rewards for
female workers would have come a long way
since then -- after all, it has been 16 years.
Think again. Latest figures from Australian
Bureau of Statistics show that the gap is now, in
2010 --- at its highest level since August, 1994.
That means that the average weekly original
time earnings for females working full-time were
$1091.30 per week -- or $239.30 less than their
male counterparts, who earn $1330.60.
The gap is higher in the private sector --- a
difference of 21.7 per cent compared with 12.1
per cent in the public sector -- with some female
executives reportedly earning less than half of
their male equivalents.
Industries with the highest pay gap were
financial and insurance services (29.3 per cent),
health care and social assistance (29 per cent),
rental hiring and real estate (28.3 per cent) and
professional scientific and technical services
(27.6 per cent).
If you work in education and training you are in
a better position, with a 9.8 per cent difference,
while the difference in administration and safety
jobs is at 8.6 per cent. Postal and warehousing
services is the fairest industry at 6.5 per cent.
Acting director of equal Opportunity for
Women in the Workplace Agency, Mairi Steele,
says that as a result of the widening pay group,
women would have to work an extra 66 days
than men to earn the same amount.
She says the gap is caused by a variety of
facts including the undervaluation of women's
work, women's access to training and
inflexible work practices which limits a female's
"Most organizations don't realize that they
have a gender gap and it is not until they
undertake critical analysis of pay structures,
including all the extras such as performance
pay, over award payments and the like, that the
problems are revealed," says Ms Steele.
"We tell our daughters that if they study hard,
train hard and work hard that they will be treated
fairly and equitably in the workforce. Sadly this is
not always the case.
"Instead of perpetuating this myth, we would
like to see the entire community commit to
making the gender pay gap a problem of the
Ms Mairi says if that can be achieved, it would
not just benefit the individual, but also the
country-allowing women to accumulate more
superannuation and be less likely to require
Bureau of Statistics
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