Gender pay gap doesn’t make cents

3 September 2013

On average Australian women earn 83 cents for every dollar earned by a man. Equal Pay Day is marked on the last extra day women would need to work after the end of the financial year to earn the same as men, which is 64 extra days this year.

Contributing factors are unsupportive working arrangements for child-rearing, undervalued and underpaid feminised industries, and an over-representation of women in casual and non-career part-time employment.

‘The persistent gender wage gap in Australia has profound implications for women’s financial security and their access to resources that support health, safety and wellbeing. This leads to inequality, poor health outcomes, and vulnerability to violence in the home,’ said Women’s Health West CEO, Dr Robyn Gregory.

‘The average 25 year old man will earn $2.4 million over the next 40 years compared to $1.5 million earned by the average woman. And while, ironically, women live longer than men, they’ll earn half as much superannuation.

‘Across the western region, women report a lower individual weekly income than their male counterparts. For example, 21.3 per cent of female residents and 14.7 per cent of males have an individual weekly income of less than $300.

‘A concerning 12.3 per cent of females and 8.4 per cent of males reported that they had nil or negative individual weekly income.

‘At the other end of the spectrum, 16.2 per cent of male residents in the western region reported an individual income of $1,500 a week or more (compared to only 6.7 per cent of female residents).

‘Given the proportions of women who report low individual weekly incomes in the west, it is imperative that we develop and implement strategies that strengthen women’s access to education, employment and higher income opportunities.

Equal pay will improve the status and health outcomes of all women.

MEDIA: Contact Nicola Harte, Communications Manager on 9689 9588 or email nicolah@whwest.org.au