The Daily Wire: Blog Action Day – Gender Pay Gap - The Daily Wire

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There is by any measure a great deal of inequality in our world. And there are many hundreds of thousands of people globally working to reduce inequality.

For me the issue of pay inequality is something I’m very familiar with and something I work on everyday in my day job as a union official. Many countries have laws that require men and women are paid the same wage. These laws even exist in Australia but unfortunately these laws haven’t resulted in wage equality.

Some of the reasons for pay inequity and our worsening pay gap include:

  • “women’s work” is undervalued
  • in professions where women predominate, wages are generally lower than industry standards
  • women more often work part time and in temporary jobs that have reduced hourly pay rates
  • women interrupt their careers more frequently, e.g. after pregnancy
  • women earn less than men because more men work in better-paid sectors and better-paid jobs
  • women often face a ‘glass ceiling’; they do not move on to senior positions even when they have the same qualifications as men
  • gender role stereotypes still predominate and our workforces are often segregated into women’s work and men’s work
The pay gap between men and women’s wages is now a staggering 18.2%, nearly 1% worse than 2013, and the worst it has been in 20 years. Men on average will earn $14,500 more than a woman, who will have to work 66 days more to earn it while each year women in Australia have to work an additional 30 days to make the same wage as men.

The Australia Institute’s report What’s choice got to do with it!  shows that a woman working full-time in commerce, with no children and limited caring responsibilities, ends up with approximately 9% less in superannuation savings than the average male at retirement. It’s telling that even upon graduating women are starting out on wages that are on average 9.4% less than men, according to data from Graduate Careers Australia.  The pay gap exists as soon as women step foot into the workforce, and merely gets larger as they continue in the workforce.

This inequality greatly diminishes the ability of many families to get by and wage inequality will continue to grow as more and more insecure forms of work become the norm rather than the exception. It’s not a problem that can be solely attributed to women taking career breaks, working flexibly for a period and/or not reaching leadership positions. It’s an issue that we all have to take responsibility for and to work to reduce the gap, especially given that Australia’s wage gap has grown in the last year.

Ultimately equal pay must be on the Government’s agenda and considered in all areas of policy development – not just those concerned with the workplace. And it must also be considered at the upcoming G20 meeting in Brisbane if the world is to truely address growing economic inequality.


Filed under: Rants & Raves Tagged: Australia, Blog Action Day, commentary, human rights, inequality, online activism, personal opinion, politics, public policy Posted Image

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