Employer gender pay gaps published for the first time

Release Date:
Media release

The Albanese Government is taking action to improve workplace gender equality, with the gender pay gaps for nearly 5,000 Australian private sector employers today being published for the first time.

It comes after Labor’s reforms passed the Parliament last year, a key driver for employer action to speed up progress to close the gender pay gap in the workplace. 

The Minister for Women, Senator Katy Gallagher, said the publication of employer gender pay gaps is a pivotal moment for gender equality in Australia.

"The release of employer gender pay gaps marks a historic step towards transparency and accountability in addressing gender inequality," Minister Gallagher said.

"The gender pay gap is a persistent and complex problem that costs the Australian economy $51.8 billion every year," Minister Gallagher said.

“Transparency and accountability are critical for driving change. By shining a light on gender pay gaps at an employer level, we are arming individuals and organisations with the evidence they need to take meaningful action to accelerate closing the gender pay gap in Australian workplaces."

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) has published base salary and total remuneration median gender pay gaps for private sector employers in Australia with 100 or more employees. 

The results show that: 

  • 30% of employers have a median gender pay gap between the target range of -5% and +5%. 
  • 62% of median employer gender pay gaps are over 5% and in favour of men. 
  • The rest (8%) are less than -5% and in favour of women. 
  • Across all employers, 50% have a gender pay gap of over 9.1%. 

For all employers, the publication of their gender pay gaps and workforce composition is an opportunity to assess their performance on gender equality and take action to improve it. 

"It is encouraging to see that gender pay gaps for almost one-third of employers are close to gender parity within their workforce," WGEA CEO Mary Wooldridge said. 

"All employers should be aiming for a gender pay gap within +/-5%. This range allows for normal business fluctuations and employee movements, while signifying that an employer has a focus on identifying and addressing inequalities and is taking action to ensure there is gender equality throughout an organisation."

There is significant variation in the gender pay gap across different industries, ranging from the Construction Industry where the mid-point employer gender pay gap is 31.8% to the Accommodation and Food Services Industry with a mid-point employer gender pay gap of 1.9%. 

"Particularly for those employers whose gender pay gaps are higher than their Industry peers, publication of the results today is a catalyst for action and change," Ms Wooldridge said.

"The gender pay gap is a widely used, internationally recognised measure for gender equality. Publishing employer’s gender pay gaps brings transparency to those employers who have low median gender pays gaps and those that don’t."

"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 and rewarded in their workplace," Ms Wooldridge said.

Companies’ gender pay gaps are available on the Workplace Gender Equality Agency website.