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The new gender pay gap

Australia’s national gender pay gap has dropped to 13.3%.

But today’s average weekly earnings data, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), shows that women are still lagging  behind men, earning 87 cents for every dollar earned by a male.

As many Australians struggle with sharp increases in the cost of groceries, energy, fuel and housing, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) is calling attention to the disproportionate effect this persistent pay gap has for Australian women.

WGEA Director Mary Wooldridge has also urged employers and employees to be mindful that today’s gender pay gap only reflects base salary for full-time workers, meaning it’s only a limited reflection of the true situation.

“The gender pay gap is a handbrake on women’s ability to make ends meet,” she says. “Women are $253.50 worse off every single week as a result of their gender.

“Over the course of one year, the weekly difference of $253.50 adds up to $13,182. That’s income that could have gone towards meeting bills, mortgage repayments or additional contributions to superannuation funds for retirement.

“Gender pay gaps are a reflection of the way we value women’s and men’s contributions in the workforce.

“Employers who don’t make gender equality a priority will fail to attract and retain female talent and won’t benefit from the increased productivity, innovation and profitability that flows from embracing diversity in your workforce.”

While it’s trending in the right direction – this is the lowest on record and a return to where we were at three years ago (when the gender pay gap was at 13.4%) – there’s still work to do.

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