Question the Gender Pay Gap

Gender Pay Gap

Writer: Larissa Werbiuk

The gender pay gap is the difference between women’s and men’s average full-time weekly earnings. Gender pay gaps have become broadly speculated and more recently open to the public eye. This is partly due to women in the movie industry such as Jennifer Lawrence and Angelina Jolie, addressing the pay gap difference between them, and their male co stars. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending how you see it, for most Australians, the difference between pay gaps between male and female co-workers is on average $284.20 weekly -compared to around 2 million in the movie industry. Women on average must work an extra sixty five days to earn the same amount of earnings as a male per year.

The Australian gender pay gap is currently 17.9% average difference -higher than the past two decades -when it has fluctuated between 15% and 19%. These statistics also show that as a society, Australia has gone backwards instead of forwards, in accepting that women deserve the same pay as their equal male co-workers. In a westernised and modern cultured country, where feminism and equal rights are constantly being broadcasted and recognised, the pay gap between both genders should have been addressed a long time ago.

The difference in pay also varies depending what state of Australia, for instance, the lowest pay gap is in South Australia, 10.8%, whilst the highest is in Western Australia of 26%. There is a great debate as to why this varies; one reason could be the type of business that comes out of certain states. Western Australia has a great quality of mining work, which ultimately has a higher proportion of males working in that field.

The pay gap does not just vary between states, but also depends on the type of work industry. The lowest pay gap surprisingly is hospitality and tourism at 7%, whilst with a great difference financial and insurance services are at 30.5%. Clerical and administration workers, and machinery operators and drivers have some of the largest pay gaps. This could be greatly once again linked to the fact of the stereotypical job roles, which usually entail men, with a small percentage of women interested or involved in these particular roles. In saying so, this further pushes women away from being open to different job positions and fields, with the knowledge that they will not be rewarded with the same pay as a male, who does the same amount of hours and workload.

These statistics and reasoning as to why there is such a pay difference stems down from a couple of factors including: historically, women in stereotypical jobs e.g. nursing, administration-paid less than males; differences in education and work experience; women have a more precarious attachment to the workforce; a lack of women in senior departments, including a lack of flexible or part time legible senior roles; and discrimination, both direct and indirect.

This is the twenty first century; both genders deserve equal rights and pay for the same amount and quality of work being produced.

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