Australia's massive gender pay gap costing women tens of thousands

Australia's massive gender pay gap costing women tens of thousands

SBS World News Radio: Australia's massive gender pay gap costing women tens of thousands  

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency claims Australia has a long way to go to reach gender equality.

That comes after new data showing Australian working men earning almost 27 thousand dollars per year more than women.

Cindy Hook is the most powerful woman behind one of the country's biggest advisory firms, Deloitte.

But the C-E-O says her rise to the top of the company over 30 years hasn't been without its challenges.

"All the other candidates were men which wasn't surprising. I was the only female executive for many, many years."

Ms Hook says she's now doing everything in her power to work towards gender equality in the workplace.

"I would challenge every organisation to dig in deep go in individual by individual. We've got 6,000 employees, but you've got the data, and make sure you solve the pay gap level by level then put the programs in place that advance women."

New data from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency shows the average full-time female employee took home nearly 27 thousand dollars less than the average male employee.

The difference rising to almost 94 thousand dollars at the top level of management.

And while around 42 percent of promotions and appointments into managerial roles went to women, five out of six C-E-O-s are still men.

Agency director Libby Lyons has told the National Press Club in Canberra some industries have bigger problems in the area of equality than others.

"Nine out of ten graduates entering health care and social assistance are women and only two in ten graduates entering the contruction industry are women."

Ms Lyons has told the National Press Club this doesn't only affect individuals in a negative way- it also affects the country as a whole.

"This segregation not only stops people from pursuing satisfying careers but it also hinders the economic growth of our nation at a time when we need it most."

The latest data claims gender pay gaps exist in every single sector of Australian industry- even the ones dominated by women.

It claims the biggest cause of these gaps is unconscious bias and discrimination.

70 percent of employers now have a gender policy in place.

There's now pressure being applied from some quarters for all companies to step up and ensure equality.





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