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The gender pay gap at Australia’s biggest companies

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Australian companies have posted their gender pay gaps for the first time ever. Here's what we found.
Australian businesses have posted their gender pay gaps for the first time

Australia’s biggest employers’ gender pay gaps have been revealed for the first time.

It comes after new laws mandated that employers with at least 100 workers publish their gender pay gap. This is nearly 5,000 private businesses.

The data, published by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), found that men earned more across every sector.

New laws

Last year, the Federal Government passed a law requiring businesses with at least 100 workers to publish their gender pay gap.

This pay gap measures the median difference in earnings between men and women — the middle figure if you line up all payments from highest to lowest. It includes full-time, part-time and casual workers.

The law mandated the WGEA publish the data. It’s a national body tasked with reducing gender discrimination for workers around the country.

Today is the first time this data has been made public.

What did it find?

The WGEA said a gender pay gap between -5% to +5% accounts for normal changes at workplaces.

It found the pay gap at more than three in five companies was over 5% in favour of men.

More than half of employers with more than 100 workers had a gender pay gap over 9.1%, favouring men.

It also showed companies with female leadership were more likely to have a pay gap closer to the WGEA’s target range.

Companies

Here are some of the companies that employ more than 250 workers and who fell within the top 5% of the highest gender pay gaps:

CompanyIndustryPay gap (%)
PandoraRetail52.3
RibshireConstruction49.9
SeafollyRetail44.5
Collingwood Football ClubAFL44.0
JetstarAirline43.7
Virgin AustraliaAirline41.7
Glencore Coal AssetsMining41.4
Goldman SachsInvestment banking37.2
Some of the Australian companies reporting the highest gap in men and women’s earnings

Industry breakdown

Here are the median gender pay gaps across some industries from the latest data:

How to interpret the data

This data analysed the total remuneration of employees, including salary, bonuses and extra payments, such as commissions from sales.

However, it does not include the earnings of CEOs, Heads of Business or casual managers. WGEA will include this information in the next reporting year.

According to WGEA, nearly 80% of CEOs in Australia are men. It says the inclusion of CEO remuneration will have a “meaningful impact on employer average gender pay gaps”.

There are multiple ways to measure the gender pay gap. The Australian Bureau of Statistics published its pay gap for full-time workers last week, showing a 12% difference between men and women.

Responses

WGEA CEO Mary Wooldridge said: “The time for talk and excuses is over… Change takes action and employers need to double down on ensuring all employees are fairly represented and equally valued.”

Minister for Women Katy Gallagher said: “The release of employer gender pay gaps marks a historic step towards transparency
and accountability in addressing gender inequality.”

Shadow Minister for Women Sussan Ley said: “To those organisations and businesses who have failed to meet the mark, you have been put on notice. We expect to see these gaps closing and we expect to see progress.”

The WGEA has uploaded the data and findings to its website.

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