Employer Insights

The Gender Pay Gap – Why is This Still Happening in 2017?

Catherine Kennedy Posted by Catherine
min read
Nathan Dumlao Lv Ww G8t Ksk Unsplash

The people2people team have been out and about in recent weeks meeting with hiring managers to share insights on the market and deliver our latest salary and market update report, the p2p post. These conversations are always interesting and it’s intriguing to see the different perspectives across the locations and specialisations in which we service.

A hot topic in almost every meeting as I write this is the continuing gender pay gap which exists in Australia. According to a report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics published in May 2016 http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstatsabs@.nfs/mf/6291.0.55.003 , women’s base salaries are 18.9% less than their male counterparts in industries that are, wait for it, female dominated. This compares to 16.4% in sectors that are male dominated. So in sectors where the majority of the work force are women, the blokes are getting paid almost 20% more. The story gets worse when you look at people in management roles, with women in management roles in female dominated sectors getting a whopping 24.5% less in total remuneration than their male colleagues.

In a country like Australia, which prides itself on equality and fairness, I just don’t get why this is still the case. In my conversations with people recently, a few ideas have been thrown around as to the reason, but none really seem satisfactory. Yes, women are still more likely to work part time (and therefore earn less) but that cannot be the sole reason for such a discrepancy. Is it that our society conditions women from a young age to not be assertive and therefore women are more hesitant to request a better salary and conditions? Why is it that the female dominant sectors have the greatest gender gap? The ‘sisterhood’ seems to be providing a disservice.

I really don’t know the answers, but as a Mum to two little girls, I certainly hope we get our act together as a society so that their generation enjoys equal pay for equal work. For now, I am so grateful to work in an organisation like people2people which encourages the development and promotion of women and pays us just as well at the blokes!


Source: ABS, Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly, May 2016