The Coalition Government is shining a light on the gender pay gap, investing in a new system to make workplace gender reporting easier.
The Government will provide $8 million for the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) to upgrade its reporting and data management system to improve reporting on Australia’s workplace gender equality.
The upgrade will enable WGEA to better sort and analyse the data collected, allow for the submission of voluntary additional data, streamline the reporting process, and reduce the time and cost to business of reporting to WGEA.
Minister for Women, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, said “while women in the Australian workforce have come a long way, on average they still earn less than men. It is important to continue to improve the data available so we can identify and address sources of gender inequality in the workplace”.
“This new technology will strengthen the work WGEA does with employers to promote and further improve gender equality in our workplaces, which will in turn help to grow the Australian economy.”
The upgraded system will enable public sector employers to voluntarily report on their pay gaps for the first time, potentially increasing the size of WGEA’s dataset to approximately 75 per cent of Australian employees, from the current 40 per cent.
Women are now employed full-time in record numbers and the gender pay gap has reduced to a record low of 14.5 per cent from 17.2 per cent under the previous Labor government. More than one million jobs have been created since 2013, the majority of which have been taken up by women.
But women are still less likely to be in the workforce than men, and work part-time at more than twice the rate of men. WGEA data shows that even when a woman works full-time she earns $26,000 less per year on average than a man.
There is more to do in order to improve women’s economic security, which is why Minister O’Dwyer will deliver the first ever Women’s Economic Security Statement later this month.
“The Coalition Government is determined to equip Australian women with the tools and support they need to make the best decisions about their futures, and to deliver practical measures that help open up more opportunities for Australian women,” Minister O’Dwyer concluded.