min read
· Posted on
March 7, 2024

Gender pay gap data has been revealed, and here’s what it means

It's the first time data has been collected on the gender pay gap across the Australian private sector. Find out what that means for you.

What's the key learning?

  • The median gender pay gap in Australia's private sector is 19% based on total remuneration.
  • Median, not average wage data was collected to avoid skewing results.
  • The gender pay gap reflects that women are underrepresented in senior positions across industries.

For the first time in Australia, data has been revealed on the gender pay gap for almost 5,000 private sector companies that have 100 or more employees.

More than half of employers with over 100 workers have been found to have a gender pay gap of 9% in favour of men.

What’s the current gender pay gap?

The average national gender pay gap is 12%. This means that for every dollar that men earn (on average), women earn 88 cents.

This particular report however looked at the median gender pay gap in Australia’s private sector (government organisations were not included), which is 19% based on total remuneration.

That means the median that a woman is paid is $18,461 less than the median of what a man is paid.

A bit of context on this data…

This report was put together by a federal agency called the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) using 2022-23 census data provided by private sector employers.

WGEA chose to publish the median figures, not the average, to avoid skewing the results with outliers, in other words, the outlandish salaries some senior executives make.

If you’re a little rusty on high school math, the median is calculated by listing all the pay figures from smallest to largest, and finding the figure that’s exactly in the middle.

Source: WGEA

It’s also worth noting that the gender pay gap doesn’t mean that women are paid less than men for the same work (that’s been illegal for years). 

It reflects that women are underrepresented in higher paying roles across industries, and therefore on the whole, earn less than men.

What does the median gender pay gap look like across industries?

The WGEA report listed 19 industries. Of those, the three with the biggest median gender pay gap are:

  • Construction (31.8%)
  • Financial and Insurance Services (26.1%)
  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (24.2%)

The industries which have the lowest median pay gap include:

  • Healthcare (6.1%)
  • Education (5.2%)
  • Accommodation & Food Service (1.9%)

What does the median gender pay gap look like in Australia’s biggest companies?

Australia’s aviation companies, like Jetstar (43.7%), Virgin, (41.7%) and Qantas (37%) had gender pay gaps on the higher side.

The results were a little smaller at major banks like Commonwealth Bank (29.9%), Westpac (28.5%), ANZ (23.1%) and NAB (18.8%).

Australia’s biggest retailers such as Coles (5.6%), Woolworths (5.7%) and Wesfarmers (3.5%) had generally low gender pay gaps. 

You can search up your employer and see your organisation’s gender pay gap here.

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