Gender pay gap is lower in commonwealth public service

The gender pay gap between women and men is lower in the federal arena than in the private sector, although it’s still a long way from wage parity.

Women working in the commonwealth public sector are paid on average 88 cents in the dollar compared to men, a snapshot released by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency shows.

This compares to 77 cents in the dollar for women working in the private sector.

This translates to a total remuneration gender pay gap in the commonwealth public sector of 11.6 per cent, while in the private sector it’s 22.8 per cent.

“Policies like publicly-advertised salary levels, target setting, regular employee consultation and comprehensive access to paid parental leave help the public sector lead in workplace gender equality,” WGEA CEO Mary Wooldridge said on Monday.

“However, these results also show that many of these policies have focused on women, rather than all employees.

“This is particularly the case for support for parents and carers.”

As a result, the uptake of paid primary carers leave by men is at a rate similar to the private sector – that is, 13.5 per cent in the public sector versus 13 per cent in the private sector.

“To advance gender equality, we need to shift cultural norms and pervasive gender stereotypes that reinforce an unequal share of parenting and act as a barrier to women’s full participation in the workforce,” Ms Wooldridge said.

The new figures are based on voluntary reporting by 52 employers from the commonwealth public sector, the agency said on Monday.

Commonwealth public sector employers with 100 or more employees will begin mandatory gender equality reporting to the agency later this year.


(Australian Associated Press)


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