Equal Pay Day – Progress made but more action required

Media Release
  • Minister for Employment
  • Minister for Women
  • Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service
  • Senator for Western Australia

Equal Pay Day is an opportunity to reflect on the progress we are making on addressing income disparity between men and women and to highlight what more needs to be done to reach our objective of a fair and inclusive society.

The Turnbull Government is advancing a number of policies that will boost women’s workforce participation, encourage women into non-traditional roles, promote women into leadership positions and deliver more financial security in retirement.

In recent years encouraging progress has been made in terms of the gender pay gap and women’s workforce participation. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows the gender pay gap has narrowed from 18.5 per cent in November 2014 to 16.2 per cent today.

"While this is a promising improvement, we have a long way to go - further progress will bring great benefits to both our society and our economy," Minister Cash said.

"It is particularly heartening that the latest labour force statistics show female employment levels are at an all-time high, with more Australian women in employment than ever before."

"Getting more women into work is priority of the Turnbull Government and we remain equally focused on ensuring women are entering high paid jobs, leadership positions and non-traditional roles – all of which will ensure the decline in the gender pay gap continues."

The Turnbull Government is:

  • Supporting Australian women to participate in the workforce through our Jobs for Families Child Care package.
  • Ensuring women have the skills and support they need to work in growth industries, with $13 million invested through the National Innovation and Science Agenda in getting more women into science, technology, engineering and maths.
  • Boosting the superannuation of women who have taken time out of work through the Low Income Superannuation Tax Offset.
  • Setting a new target of men and women each holding 50 per cent of Australian Government board positions and strengthening the BoardLinks programme and scholarship and mentoring programmes, improving gender diversity in senior leadership roles.
  • Partnering with UnitingCare on the Springboard Project to give women the opportunity to train and build a career in the UnitingCare network, while also providing the flexibility to care for their families.
  • Forging innovative partnerships with the Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) and the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) to provide scholarships and mentoring opportunities.
  • Shining the light on pay equity through the work of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

Equal Pay Day is also an opportunity for businesses to undertake internal audits of employee’s remuneration to ensure there are no instances of income disparities between men and women undertaking the same duties.

"We also need to address unconscious bias which impacts on gender participation," Minister Cash said.

"Businesses should have a clear picture of how their employees are remunerated to ensure they are not unknowingly contributing to the gender pay gap."

Employers are encouraged to utilise the extensive resources available from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, which can be found here: https://www.wgea.gov.au/lead/addressing-pay-equity

For more information

Media line: (02) 6240 8667, media@employment.gov.au