#ToTheFront: Pay Gap

 

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On average women earn 82 cents to a man’s dollar (1).

I would like to say we live in a world where we are all equal and everyone has a fair opportunity to achieve their dreams. But, unfortunately this is not the case.

As “progressive” as Australian’s wish they were, we are still extremely far behind in terms of equality. With talks of an upcoming plebiscite for same-sex marriage, consistent lower rates of indigenous Australian education, and a large population still under the poverty line, the recognition, and then action for equal rights are a necessity of the government.

Pay gaps between the sexes is still a prevalent issue around the world. On the global scheme, Australia has been placed 36th in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Pay Gap (2). Australia has been moving backwards in the ranks from being ranked 15th in 2006.

What is interesting about the large gap in gender pay is the increased amount of females receiving a higher education than men. According to the ABS; 34% of 18-24 year old females in Australia are studying a bachelor degree of higher qualification compared to the 28% of males (3).

With the majority receiving a higher education in recent years being female, why are we not recognising women in the workforce as equal?

And, what kind of example are we setting for our next generation if we’re still participating in an unhealthy work environment of inequality?

In relation to the Media and Communication workforce the pay gap is ranked 5th highest at approximately 19.5%(4). This is behind:

Finance (30.2%)

Real Estate (24.6%)

Health Care (23.7%)

Technical Services 23.5%)

 

The current workforce is not a welcome environment for women. What would motivate you to work just as hard as the person next to you knowing you were getting paid nearly a quarter less than them? Women are being represented more equally in all areas of the workforce, however the pay gaps are unjust and demotivating.

A change is a necessity, and it’s something I can’t see happening overnight. But, it is something that needs to happen. More discussion on the issue is important for normalisation. People shy away from talking about money and finances, but it is important that people can be comfortable talking about their apprehensions and inequities especially if they are related to equality.

(1)https://www.humanrights.gov.au/education/face-facts/face-facts-gender-equalits
(2) http://reports.weforum.org/global-gender-gap-report-2015/rankings/
(3)http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/4125.0~Feb%202016~Media%20Release~Gender%20equality%20–%20are%20we%20there%20yet%3F%20(Media%20Release)~1
(4) https://www.wgea.gov.au/learn/about-workplace-gender-equality
Additional sources and articles:
http://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace-relations/gender-pay-gap-20160322-gnp0vy.html
www.australia21.org.au/wp-content/uploads/…/Final-InequalityinAustraliaRepor-2.pdf
https://www.humanrights.gov.au/education/face-facts/face-facts-gender-equality#fn11
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-26/gender-inequality-still-rampant-in-australian-workplaces-report/6976452
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