[Un] Equal Pay Day is 28 August 2019, marking the 59 additional days from the end of the last financial year that women must work to earn the same amount as men.

The gender pay gap is commonly misunderstood to be two people being paid differently for the same work or work of the same value. This is not the gender pay gap, this is equal pay – something that is unlawful in Australia.

It is a measure of the difference between the average earnings of women and men in the entire Australian workforce.

The gender pay gap is a symbol of women’s position in the workforce in comparison to men.

It is the result of different social and economic factors that have a tremendous impact on how women and men live their lives.

In Australia women make an average of 14% less than men.

equal pay day 2019 14% matters because it adds over a lifetime

Discrimination and bias are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the causes of the gender pay gap.

To start with, there has been a historic and systemic undervaluing of women’s work. Often, female-dominated industries and jobs attract lower wages. This form of segregation prevails today and women continue to be slugged with an enduring undervaluation of female-dominate jobs whilst competing with barriers to attaining male-dominated jobs.

Women take on a disproportionate share of unpaid care and domestic work. Entrenched societal expectations, economic issues and enduring stereotypes steer women and men into the boxes of ‘carer’ and ‘breadwinner’, with little freedom to ‘choose’. Limited access to flexible work and paid parental leave, particularly for men, mean that women spend a greater amount of time out of the workforce, have a higher rate of part-time work and report experiencing high levels of work-family conflict. Men on the other hand, often miss the opportunity to enjoy better work-life balance and to fully realise their role as a carer for their children.

Men dominate senior leadership roles. Only 17.1% of CEOs are women, 25.8% of board members and 30% of key management positions. The leadership pipeline remains leaky as women’s caring responsibilities can interrupt career progression and opportunities, in addition to unconscious and conscious bias towards female leadership. – Via The Gender Workplace Equality Agency, This is why you should care about the gender pay gap’

Organisations such as the Working Women’s Centre SA and Economic Security4Women are working hard to ensure this becomes a reality!

  • On average, women working full-time earned $1484.80 while men working full-time earned $1726.30.
  • Full-time average weekly earnings difference between women and men is $241.50, which over a year is $11,592.

What would you do with an extra $241.50 per week?

Statistics via Workplace Gender Equality Agency for information specifically about  Australia: https://www.wgea.gov.au/…/me…/unequal-pay-day-28-august-2019