Gender pay gap rises in Australia

Published: 05/09/2014

It seems that the gender pay gap in Australia is rising again which – against the backdrop of award celebrations – is terrible news, especially in Australia. Why? Because Australia is the country with the highest proportion of women in mining and the one we often all look up to and to set precedents.

National gender pay gap rises to 18.2%

14 Aug 2014

Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (Cat No. 6302.0) shows that the average man working full-time earns 18.2% or $283.20 more than the average full-time working woman.*
Between November 2013 and May 2014, men’s salaries increased an average $24.90 per week and women’s increased only $7.09.
The figure shows us that, overall, women earn significantly less than men, which has significant impact on their financial security over their lifetimes.
The female-dominated health care and social assistance sector has the highest gender pay gap at 30.7%, followed by financial and insurance services at 30.0% and rental, hiring and real estate services at 29.0%.

 Mining isn’t far behind with 23.8%

Accommodation and food services 8.0
Administrative and support services 17.9
Arts and recreation services 14.9
Construction 18.8
Education and training 12.0
Electricity, gas, water and waste services 12.3
Financial and insurance services 30.0
Health care and social assistance 30.7
Information media and telecommunications 19.5
Manufacturing 17.1
Mining 23.8
Other services 9.9
Professional, scientific and technical services 25.3
Public administration and safety 7.3
Rental, hiring and real estate services 29.0
Retail trade 10.0
Transport, postal and warehousing 16.1
Wholesale trade 14.9

*based on full-time, adult, ordinary time earnings in May 2014, released 14 August 2014

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It makes more sense to put these figures into context so I am comparing them to most recent three updates by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA). The Workplace Gender Equality Agency is an Australian Government statutory agency created by the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012. The Agency is charged with promoting and improving gender equality in Australian workplaces.

Mining 22.6 (May 2013)  23.8  (May 2014)      Annual Change 1.2 (WGEA, Aug 2014)

Mining 22.2 (Nov 2012)  21.7  (Nov 2013)       Annual Change -0.5 (WGEA, Mar 2014)

Mining 22.6 (May 2013) 21.8 (May 2012)        Annual Change 0.8 (WGEA, Aug 2013)

Mining 21.3 (Nov 2011)  22.2 (Nov 2012)        Annual Change 0.9 (WGEA, Feb 2013)

Here we can see that after decreasing by Nov 2013 the pay gap has increased again in a larger proportion than before? We ask ourselves why? Where are we failing in our efforts? 

This is very disappointing for all women professionals out there working as hard as their male counterparts.