Gender equity insights: inside Australia's gender pay gap

The Bankwest Curtin Economic Centre (BCEC) and WGEA have entered into a valuable partnership to enable new insights into the causes of organisational gender pay gaps across Australia. Since 2016 the insights drawn from this research generate much needed discussions and continue to provide the data-based evidence to inform meaningful change well into the future.

Gender Equity Insights 2019: Breaking through the glass ceiling

The report profiles gender pay gaps across occupations and industry sectors using five years of extensive WGEA reporting data covering over 4 million Australian workers. 

This year, a Special Investigation on Women in Leadership is included, examining the role of workplace environments and policy initiatives in improving the representation of women in the workforce and in narrowing the gender pay gap.

Key findings:

  • If the current growth patterns continue, we can expect to see equal representation of women and men in full-time management roles in the following years:
BCEC 2019 - Parity Timeline
  • The highest paid men are earning at least $162,000 more than the highest paid women.
  • Employer-funded paid parental leave ('PPL') schemes covering 13-plus weeks halves the share of female managers who stop working during PPL relative to those who access only the Australian Government PPL scheme.
  • Flexible work arrangements coupled with reporting to Boards increases the share of part-time female managers by 13.6 percentage points.
  • The share of female full-time managers increases by an average of 8.6 percentage points for companies with a female CEO. And moving from all-male to gender-equal company boards increases the share of full-time female managers by 7.3 percentage points and the share of part-time female managers by 13.7 percentage points.
  • Gender pay gaps at different levels of management seniority combine to reduce the share of full-time female managers by an average of 9.9 percentage points, and the share of part-time female managers by 7.9 percentage points.
  • Employer-provided onsite childcare increases the retention of female managers during PPL by almost one-fifth (18.9 per cent).
  • Women are noticeably under-represented among top-tier managers in the Health Care sector (51.9 per cent) relative to their overall presence in the workforce (71 per cent).
  • Women are most under-represented in top-tier management positions. However, this category has seen the fastest growth rate, increasing by 4.4 percentage points in the last five years.
  • The glass ceiling remains a barrier for women at CEO level, with very little movement in the last five years (+1.1 percentage point).

Read the full report here:

For more insights into gender equity in the Australian workplace, please access the reports below:

BCEC WGEA Gender Equity Insights 2018
Gender Equity Insights 2018: Inside Australia's Gender Pay Gap Cover

Our 2018 report in conjunction with Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre analyses reporting data relating to gender pay gaps and explores trends and contributing factors.

The report shows there is a clear link between employer action on pay equity and lower pay gaps and demonstrates the need for leadership accountability on closing gender pay gaps.

BCEC WGEA Gender Equity Insights 2017
Gender Equity Insights 2017: Inside Australia's Gender Pay Gap Cover

Our 2017 report in conjunction with Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre analyses reporting data relating to gender pay gaps and explores trends and contributing factors.

The report shows the extent and consequences of gender segregation in the workplace and also provides evidence that greater balance of senior management levels drives organisational change and improved gender pay outcomes.

BCEC WGEA Gender Equity Insights 2016
Gender Equity Insights 2016: Inside Australia's Gender Pay Gap Cover

Our 2016 report in conjunction with Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre analyses WGEA reporting data relating to gender pay gaps and explores trends and contributing factors. 

The report shows that greater representation of women on Boards is associated with a significant reduction in the gender pay gap.