The gender pay gap is a problem that has persisted for decades in Australia. If you're not 100% certain on what the gender pay gap is, the Australian Gender Equality Agency describes it as, "the difference between women’s and men’s average weekly full-time equivalent earnings, expressed as a percentage of men’s earnings."
Currently, the gender pay gap is at approximately 16% and has hovered between 15% and 19% in the last two decades within Australia. That's a huge difference, considering that women are literally doing the exact same work as their male co-worker and being paid less, simply because they are female. How has it remained like this for so long? It's a combination of social and economical factors combined with attitudes in our society. Here are some stats for you, as taken from the gender pay gap statistics sheet.
Figure 1: Image showing the difference between the full time average weekly earnings of a female in Australia compared to a male in Australia. Data obtained from the Australian Workplace Gender Equality Agency.
Let's take a good look at this image. That's an average difference of $261.30 between females and males across the industries in Australia. The statistics from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) also describe the gender pay gap difference according to the industry, with Public Administration and Safety being the lowest at 7.1% and Financial and Insurance Services being the highest at 38.8%.
Figure 2: Image showing the lowest and highest gender pay gap in South Australia and Western Australia in 2016. Data obtained from the Australian Workplace Gender Equality Agency.
Interestingly, the statistics also shed light onto which states and territories face the highest and lowest gender pay gaps in Australia. In 2016, South Australia had the lowest gender pay gap, with 11.2% and Western Australia had the highest gender pay gap, with 23.9%. The gender pay gaps across the states and territories in Australia in 2016 from the highest to the lowest was: