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Not so equal pay day

  • August 28 2020
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Not so equal pay day

By Cameron Micallef
August 28 2020

Despite today being equal pay day, new research has shown that women are still making 14 per cent less than their male counterparts, leading to longer-term financial instability.

Not so equal pay day

Not so equal pay day

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  • August 28 2020
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Despite today being equal pay day, new research has shown that women are still making 14 per cent less than their male counterparts, leading to longer-term financial instability.

Not so equal pay day

According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), women working full-time receive on average $253.60 per week less than males.

“Australia’s gender pay gap has hovered between 14 and 19 per cent for the past two decades, with every industry in Australia having full-time work favouring men,” a WGEA video explained.

“In every state and territory of Australia, women are dealing with the consequences of pay gaps favouring men,” agency director Libby Lyons said.

Western Australia posted the widest gender pay gap, with women on average earning $454 a week less than their male counterparts.

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The difference was slimmest in Tasmania at $131.

Women in Gaming and Hospitality CEO Helen Galloway has called on companies to use the COVID-19 shutdown as a way of resetting the gender gap.

“As operators start standing up staff after COVID-19 restrictions have interrupted their businesses, this provides the opportunity to reset where necessary to deliver gender equitable outcomes,” Ms Galloway said. 

While some industries continue to move forward, research released by Financy Women’s Index revealed that for every month the pandemic affects the Australian economy, women’s progression towards equality falls by one year.

“As the Financy Women’s Index shows, COVID-19 has only exacerbated the divide between men and women in paid and unpaid work,” said Nicki Hutley, partner at Deloitte Access Economics. 

“Even if we return to the path of improvement seen before the pandemic, we remain a full generation away from achieving equality.”

The Financy Women’s Index improved in the June quarter (up 2.4 points, or 3.3 per cent, to 73.7 points) but this was largely as a result of male employment conditions worsening at a faster rate than female.

This gap in salary is helping to contribute to longer-term poor financial outcomes in retirement.

Seventy per cent of women have estimated super balances under $150,000, making them extremely vulnerable in retirement and the best solution is to increase the superannuation guarantee.

Women in Australia retire with 47 per cent less superannuation than men, and this was the case prior to high numbers of women being forced to access their super to get through the economic crisis.

Speaking to the Women in Super Summit, senator Jane Hume said the federal government was moving to close the superannuation gap for women and working toward a “refresh” of the 2018 Women’s Economic Security Statement that will play “an important part” in supporting women’s workforce participation in the aftermath of COVID-19. 

“We know the superannuation system was not designed specifically for women… The system designed in 1992 does not account for a number of factors that contribute directly to the superannuation savings gap, namely the gender pay gap, time out of the workforce due to caring responsibilities and the decision of many to work part-time,” Ms Hume said, adding that her own experience had only highlighted the weaknesses in the system. 

But the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) said senator Hume and the federal government “cannot be taken seriously” on economic security for women while the superannuation increase “is on the chopping block”.
 

“It’s time [minister] Hume makes up her mind and, if she does want to secure women’s economic future, to convince her colleagues to resist the self-serving push of the big business lobby to cut the super increase,” the ACTU said in a statement.

Not so equal pay day
Not so equal pay day
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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