Which jobs have the biggest gaps between male and female earnings?

Peter Terlato 16 November 2016

men women work gender pay gap argument

Women in finance and insurance are worse off than teachers and trainers.

Although women continue to earn substantially less than men, the latest workplace data suggests a shift towards gender equality over the last two years, supported by a reduction in the overall pay gap, more women assigned to key management roles and employers introducing policies to support corporate equality.

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) has released its latest gender equality scorecard, revealing the industries with the most significant gender pay gaps.

All industries have a pay gap which favours men, but the highest remuneration pay gap (33.5%) exists within financial and insurance services. Men in rental, hiring and real estate services earn 29.3% more than women in the same roles, while male construction workers out-earn females by 28%.

The greatest improvements in the gender pay gap between 2013/14 and 2015/16 were in administrative and support services, down 8.2% to 14.8%.

The industry with the lowest discrepancy in total pay is education and training (9.4%).

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

The gender scorecard also highlighted the fact that gender pay gaps increase at higher levels of management. This lofty gap in total remuneration for key management personnel is reflective of non-salary benefits, such as bonuses, which intensify the pay gap in favour of men.

Analysing management seniority chains, there are far less women in upper management positions than men, however, the representation of women across all management categories has grown since 2013/14.

For example, 34.1% of women hold senior management roles in 2015/16, up 2.4% from 2013/14. 16.3% of women are CEOs in 2015/16, 0.6% higher than 2013/14 figures.

Last month, the Community Council for Australia (CCA) reported the gap between male and female employment as a ratio of the population is lower in Australia (11%) than the OECD average (15.7%).

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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