Australian women earn 17.3% less than men

Peter Terlato 27 October 2016

gender pay gap

The gender pay gap has grown widest in Victoria and Western Australia.

Despite Australia's reduced gender gap in employment to population ratio, the difference between men and women's pay remains steep, according to the latest data.

The Australia We Want report, conducted by the Community Council for Australia (CCA), reflects, analyses and compares the views of sixty leaders across the charities and not-for-profit sector against current Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) levels.

Australia's total employment to population ratio was 60.8% in 2014, higher than the OECD average of 55.6%. The gap between male and female employment as a ratio of the population was also lower in Australia (11%) than the OECD average (15.7%).

However, the full-time national gender pay gap was 17.3% in 2014, 2.2% higher than the OECD average of 15.1%.

The gap has grown widest in Victoria and Western Australia.

While female participation in the workforce is growing, it is still below the rate of male participation. Women are also more likely to work part-time, while men are more likely to work full-time.

The report suggests that while this can partly be explained by personal choice and other circumstances, discrimination can also play a role.

This pay divide is estimated to be worth about $123 billion each year, according to a gender bias study conducted by Westpac.

Despite these figures, the overwhelming majority of Aussie men feel gender inequality doesn't exist in their line of work.

The financial gap between men and women in Australia is actually apparent from a very young age. Generally, boys accumulate more savings than girls. The only time girls may have more cash saved than boys is among the 6-7 year-old age bracket. Beyond this period, boys hold the higher balances.

On a more positive note, while average savings among female pre-retirees remain significantly lower than men's, the gap is contracting.

Research shows gender can impact our decision-making processes. Emotions play a significant role in determining how men and women think differently about investment strategies and managing risk.

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