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Despite companies talking about efforts to promote gender equality in pay, the gap is still vast, with women in management roles in administrative and support services getting paid up to 45% lower than their male counterparts.
Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s (WGEA) data shows that the gender pay gap is most apparent at the key management personnel (KMP) level (28.9%), that is, the senior most ranks, followed by at the executives or general manager level (27.5%), other managers (24.6%), and senior managers (23.1%).
The largest pay gap of 44.7% was found at the KMP level in administrative and support services roles, followed by a gap of 35.1% in the arts and recreation services sector.
The largest pay gap for women at the executive or general manager level was found in the financial and insurance services sector (34.4%), while for senior managers, the most significant gap (of 28.7%) lay in the retail trade sector.
“The data clearly shows women in management aren’t accessing the same earning opportunities as men. This is partly due to the fact that women gravitate to roles the market typically assesses as being of lower value,” said Helen Conway, director of the WGEA.
“For example, we know female KMPs are more likely to be in support roles such as human resources than line roles such as heads of finance.”
Women below management ranks were also not strangers to the gender pay inequality, as men were consistently favoured in every non-manager occupation.
“Even in female-dominated roles such as community and personal service work, and clerical and administrative roles, there is a gender pay gap in favour of men,” said the report.
This is especially so when pay was calculated in terms of total remuneration instead of base salary, showing that women receive a lesser proportion of discretionary payments compared to men.
“Employers who are committed to creating equal access to opportunities for women and men need to work harder to remove barriers that inhibit women from entering these higher paying roles,” said Conway.
“A lack of quality flexible work, the legacy of workplace cultures built on the male breadwinner model and gender bias are likely to be among the barriers that need to be tackled.”