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What is the Gender Pay Gap?

The gender pay gap is the difference between the average of all male and all female earnings expressed as a percentage of male earnings.

In Australia, the gender pay gap is usually calculated on full-time weekly earnings before tax and excludes factors like overtime and pay that is salary sacrificed. The gender pay gap does not take into account part-time workers’ earnings and it gives us a value that is comparing like with like.

How big is the gender pay gap?

The gender pay gap is currently 17.5%.15.9%. Despite small fluctuations over time, this figure remains virtually unchanged in almost 20 years; in fact, in 1994 the gap was smaller.

Why is there a gender pay gap?

The causes of the gender pay gap are complex and often interrelated. Australian studies have highlighted the important roles played by:

  • discrimination or unconscious bias (link)
  • the different amount of paid and unpaid care work that women and men do
  • the different industries in which women work compared to men and the under-valuation of the occupations in which women are largely employee
    (e.g. in caring and personal service roles)
  • the way pay is set.
These factors are explained in more detail at…/behind_the_gender_pay_gap_branded.pdf

For links to fact sheets and background information about the pay gap and also has links to our pay equity workshops visit:

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