Good News – Kinda. The Gender Pay Gap is Down but not Out

25 August 2017

As of 17 August, Australia’s national gender pay gap average sits at fifteen point three percent, down 0.9% from 16% over the previous 12-month period.

This, according to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), which did the maths based on new Average Weekly Earnings data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on the same day.

The ABS data reveals once again that all is not fair and square for working Australian women. On average, men working full-time earned $1,638.30 and women earned $1,387.10, a gap of $251.20 per week.

The stats found that the average full-time working man is on $1,638.30 per week, compared with the $1,387.10 a woman is taking home. That’s a difference of $251.20 per week, or more than $13,000 a year!

That means Equal Pay Day will fall on Monday the 4th September this year, marking the additional 65 days that women, on average, would be required to work from the start of the financial year on 1 July to earn the same as their male counterparts.

While gains have been made, working women are not seeing the downward trajectory we’d like. In previous years, the gender pay gap has zig zagged from a low of 14.1% in November 2004 to a high of 18.5% in 2014.

We may have have ‘gained’ ground of 0.9%, but even if the gap continued to drop by the same 0.9 percentage points a year, we’d still be in for another 17 years wait before hitting equal pay, adding up to a loss of around $200,000 in missed pay for women.

And 17 years would actually be an optimistic estimate. According to the WGEA, recent international data collected from more than 12,000 employers and four million employees, has estimated the number of years for the gender pay gap to close across a range of countries, including Australia.

The analysis estimates that Australia is 50 years away from closing the pay gap, with some countries being as far as 300 years away. The US, France and Italy could be 100 years away from closing the pay gap.

You can mark Equal Pay Day using the #EPD2017 hashtag across social media and help raise the awareness that Australian’s clearly still need when it comes to equal pay for equal work. The WGEA has also put together this downloadable social media pack.

In line with our commitment to covering the gap, Travel with Jane will continue to pass on the national gender pay gap average, as a discount to our female customers. That means customers who identify as women can benefit from a 15.3% discount on their travel insurance policy . This discount applies to any person travelling with a female customer, on their policy.

Men who wish to benefit from the gender pay gap discount are welcome to do so. To find out more, get in touch with a member of our team via our online chat window.

About the Workplace Gender Equality Agency 

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency is an Australian Government statutory agency charged with promoting and improving gender equality in Australian workplaces in accordance with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (the Act). The Agency’s vision is for women and men to be equally represented, valued and rewarded in the workplace.

“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” – Maya Angelou

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Since Day 1 Travel with Jane has been about levelling the playing field for women in Australia. In 2020, we’re taking the fight global. Stay tuned to learn how you can support the women who tackle the gender divide here and abroad.


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