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Human Resources

Why the gender pay gap is narrowing at glacial pace: Employers need to take bold action, WGEA Director

Health Industry Hub | July 13, 2022 |
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For the first time in Australia, we have data on the gender pay gap that is broken down by age and generation. What are the main themes that have emerged from the latest report and what does this mean for employees and your organisation?

Mary Wooldridge, Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) Director, joined Health Industry Hub to discuss the key themes that have emerged from the data, the mindset shifts and policy changes required within public and private organisations to redesign the way we work and drive the necessary changes in reducing the gender pay gap.

Ms Wooldridge said “The gender pay gap looks at the overall value and how much women are paid versus how much men are paid… how we value men versus women in the workplace and the opportunities they have.

“We have this disconnect, especially at senior leadership positions, between the expectation of how people are working in those roles [more than 90% full-time], and the reality where the majority of women either choose not to or are unable to work full-time.

“We still have a lot of stereotypes in terms of roles and responsibilities. Australia has one of the most gender segregated workforce – industrial and occupational segregation. So, even when women are very clearly and strongly present [in specific industries such as healthcare], we have these inequities that are in place.

“There is some progress but it’s glacial…We can’t just let it happen and let it fall where it falls because what we don’t want to see is that many women continue to work flexibly, men returned to the office and the whole valuing presenteeism kicks back in again in terms of differentials of mentoring, training, promotions and pay rises. Employers need to be intentional.”


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