Ten Numbers That Reveal Australia’s Gender-Equality Challenge

November 24, 2015Australian employers are required to report every year on pay and the composition of their workforce, by gender. Here’s what the latest data shows us:

15.4%: The percentage of CEOs or heads of businesses that are women. While women make up nearly half the total workforce, their representation declines steadily with each step up the corporate ladder.

24.0%: The overall gender pay gap in favour of men based on total remuneration, which includes salary, superannuation, and discretionary pay including bonuses. On average, men working full-time in Australia earn over A$27,000 a year more than women working full-time.

35.0%: The gender pay gap in financial and insurance services, the largest pay gap of any industry. While the majority of employees in finance and insurance are women, the top jobs—with their big salaries and bonuses—are dominated by men.

75.1%: The percentage of part-time jobs held by women, showing that women are much more likely than men to fit work around caregiving. While women struggle for equal opportunity and reward in the workplace, men struggle to be recognized as caregivers.

6.3%: The percentage of part-time roles in management. While more than one in five (22.7%) of non-management roles are part-time, employers aren’t embracing non-standard work hours in senior roles—thereby excluding people with caregiving responsibilities from progressing in their careers.

19.6%: The percentage of male employees working in healthcare and social assistance. Many Australian industries are dominated by employees of one gender, with ‘blue-collar’ industries remaining male-dominated and health, education, and retail sectors employing far more women. And industries with a larger concentration of women traditionally offer lower pay.

88.3%: The percentage of technicians and tradespeople who are men. It’s not just industries that are gender segregated, but occupations too— 74.6% of clerical and administrative workers are women.

26.3%: The percentage of employers that conducted a gender pay gap analysis in 2014-15. This represents an increase since last year and a growing awareness that unconscious bias could be affecting pay outcomes. Over half of employers who analysed their pay took action to address current or potential pay inequities—but few reported to their boards on gender pay metrics.

16.1%: The percentage of organisations with a target for gender representation on their boards. With women representing fewer than one-quarter (23.6%) of directors and one-eighth of chairs (14.2%), targets are a way to help improve gender diversity on the governing bodies of corporate Australia. 

Four million: The number of employees in Australia covered by the Agency’s dataset, which is around 40% of employees in Australia. Data is collected from non-public sector organisations with over 100 employees, under Australia’s Workplace Gender Equality Act (2012). The data was collected between April 2014 and March 2015. It can be explored further at    

The views expressed herein are solely those of the guest blogger and do not necessarily reflect those of Catalyst. Catalyst does not endorse any political candidates. The post and the comments are presented only for the purpose of informing the public.