Gender workplace statistics at a glance 2017-18

Gender workplace statistics at a glance

February 2019

 Workforce Participation

  • Women comprise 46.9% of all employed persons in Australia; 25.4% of all employed persons are women working full-time, and 21.6% are women working part-time* (ABS 2019, Labour Force).
  • Women constitute 37.0% of all full-time employees and 68.5% of all part-time employees (ABS 2019, Labour Force).
  • The workforce participation rate** is 60.6% for women and 71.0% for men (ABS 2019, Labour Force).
  • The workforce participation rate among those aged 15-64 years is 73.5% for women and 82.9% for men (ABS 2019, Labour Force).

* Part-time refers to all employed persons who usually worked less than 35 hours a week and either did so during the reference week or did not work that week.

** Participation rate is the sum of the employed and unemployed divided by total population from age 15 onwards.

Economic security

  • The full-time average weekly ordinary earnings* for women are 14.1% less than for men (ABS 2019, Average Weekly Earnings).
  • Among non-public sector organisations with 100 or more employees, the gender pay gap for full-time annualised base salary is 16.2%, and 21.3% for full-time annualised total remuneration (WGEA 2019, Data Explorer).
  • The adult full-time average hourly ordinary time cash earnings** for non-managerial women are 11.4% less than for non-managerial men (ABS 2019, Employee Earnings and Hours).
  • The median undergraduate starting salaries for women are 4.8% less than for men. This gap widens 14.6% for postgraduate (coursework) graduates (QILT, 2018).
  • Average superannuation balances for women at retirement (aged 60-64) are 42.0% lower than those for men (Clare, R, 2017).
  • 55.0% of people aged 65 years or more and receiving the aged pension are women (DSS Demographics, 2018).

Ordinary time earnings used comprise regular wages and salaries in cash, excluding amounts salary sacrificed. For more information refer to: <>

** Cash earnings used comprise regular wages and salaries in cash, including amounts salary sacrificed. Estimates of hourly cash earnings have only been produced for employees with a link between earnings and hours. For more information, refer to: <>

Educational Attainment

  • Of all women aged 20-24, 89.9% have attained year 12 qualifications or above, compared to 84.4% of men in the same age bracket. Of all women aged 25-29, 44.7% have achieved a bachelor degree or above, compared to 32.1% of similarly-aged men (ABS 2018, Gender Indicators).
  • Among people aged 15-64 years, a slightly higher proportion of women (6.5%) attained a postgraduate degree than men (6.4%) (ABS 2018, Gender Indicators).

Paid parental leave

Of all organisations in the Agency’s 2017-18 dataset:

  • 47.8% provide primary carer’s leave in addition to the Federal Government’s paid parental leave scheme (WGEA 2019, Data Explorer).
  • 41.8% provide secondary carer’s leave in addition to the Federal Government’s paid parental leave scheme (WGEA 2019, Data Explorer).

Women in leadership

Latest results from the Agency’s 2017-18 dataset show:

  • Women hold 13.7% of chair positions and 25.8% of directorships, and represent 17.1% of CEOs and 30.5% of key management personnel (WGEA 2019, Data Explorer).
  • 35.2% of boards and governing bodies have no female directors. By contrast, only 0.9% had no male directors (WGEA 2018, Australia's Gender Equality Scorecard).

Real-time statistics from the Australian Institute of Company Directors reveal:

  • 29.7% of directors in the ASX 200 are women (December 2018) (AICD, 2019).
  • Women comprised 45.4% of new appointments to ASX 200 boards in 2018 (AICD, 2019).



  • ABS (2019), Labour Force, Australia, January 2019, cat. no. 6202.0, viewed 21 February 2019, <>
  •  ABS (2019), Average Weekly Earnings, Nov 2018, cat. no. 6302.0, viewed 21 February 2019, <>
  • WGEA (2019), WGEA Data Explorer, <>
  • ABS (2019), Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2018, cat. no. 6306.0, viewed 21 February 2019, <>
  • Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) (2018), Graduate Outcome Survey National Report, Accessed 21 February 2019, <>
  • Clare R. (2017), Superannuation account balances by age and gender, December 2017, ASFA Research and Resources Centre, viewed 21 February 2019,
  • DSS Demographics September 2018 excel file viewed 09 August (file was last updated February 07 2019) <>
  • ABS (2018), Gender Indicators, Australia, Sep 2018, cat. No. 4125.0, viewed 21 February 2019, <>
  • WGEA (2018), Australia’s Gender Equality Scorecard 2017-18, viewed 21 February 2019,<>
  • Australian Institute of Company Directors Statistics (2019), viewed 18 February 2019, <>




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