A new report released today by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) reveals that among top tier managers in Australian organisations, men are paid on average $100,000 more per year than women.
The report, Gender Equity Insights 2016: Inside Australia’s Gender Pay Gap, found that women working full-time in key management positions earned on average $244,569 annually, while men in these positions earned $343,269.
Managerial gender pay gaps are smaller in male-dominated industries than they are in female-dominated industries. However, male managers working in female-dominated organisations can expect to earn considerably more than their female colleague.
The report, a collaboration between the WGEA and researchers at the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, also revealed for the first time a measurable link between increasing gender diversity on boards and lower pay gaps for managers. It found that increasing the number of women on boards from zero to a 50:50 balance was associated with a 6.3 percentage point reduction in the gender pay gap for full-time managers.
WGEA Director Libby Lyons said the results showed that there is still a lot of work ahead of all of us, including female-dominated industries, to improve the persistance of the gender pay gap but that getting more women on boards was clearly a big step in the right direction.
“I urge all employers and boards to look closely at their own pay data and recruitment strategies to uncover and address gender pay gaps,” she said.
Another key finding of the report was ‘the male bonus premium’ which sees men consistently earning more additional remuneration (superannuation, bonuses, share allocations, allowances, overtime and other discretionary pay) than women. Women working full-time are paid on average an additional 18.1% of their base salary in extras and men an additional 25%. This leads to an average male ‘bonus’ premium of almost 8 percentage points for full-time workers. The male ‘bonus’ premium is highest in the Financial and Insurance Services industry at 15 percentage points.
A primary reason for the existence of a gender pay gap in Australia is the high number of women who work part-time. The report says that while not all gender pay gaps favour men, pay gaps in favour of part-time women tend to be concentrated in low-paid occupations and industries, with the part-time pay gap favouring men as roles become more senior and highly paid.
The Australian Greens believe fixing the gender pay gap has to include putting an end to ‘pay gag clauses’ in employment contracts which prevents employees from discussing their salary and other remuneration.
Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader and spokesperson for women, said: “Secret pay negotiations happen in high-paid roles, where these stark pay gaps are being revealed and in lower paid positions, where the pay gap hurts women trying to make ends meet. When pay is set in secret deals and employees aren’t allowed to discuss the outcome women lose out.”
“The gender pay gap is much smaller in the public sector at 12.2 per cent, where workers are allowed to talk about their pay, compared 21.3 per cent in the private sector, where these gag clauses exist,” said Senator Waters.
“My Bill would give workers the power to discuss their pay with their colleagues if they wish to, without fear of breaching the gag clauses often included in contracts,” she said.
“This is one practical step we can take toward ending the gender pay gap, which has hovered between 15 and 19 per cent for years.”
For more information about the gender pay gap in Australia visit the WGEA website: www.wgea.gov.au