The gender pay gap is closing (slowly)

Alison Banney 6 March 2017 NEWS

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New research shows more women consider themselves the main breadwinner, but men still earn more.

More women than ever are identifying themselves as their household's main breadwinner, according to new Roy Morgan research. The study showed in 2006 only 39% of Australian women identified themselves as the main breadwinner, but fast forward a decade and this has jumped to 52%.

In comparison, the number of Australian men who consider themselves to be the main breadwinner has been somewhat stagnant at 73% in 2006 and 74% in 2016.

Stagnant or not, this reveals significantly more Australian men still believe themselves to be the main financial provider, and when we look at how much men are earning compared to women, it’s clear why.

The research shows the average income for paid full-time Australian women is now $73,500 compared to $51,000 in 2006. However, despite this increase, women are still trailing behind.

The average full-time paid Australian male earns $13,500 more each year at $87,000, revealing that while the gender pay gap may be slowly closing, it very much still exists today.

roy morgan gender pay gap table

Children still appear to have a key influence on determining who in the household earns the best income; 57% of women living with their partner and no children consider themselves to be the main breadwinner, compared to only 33% of women living with their partner and at least one child.

It is interesting to note that while 52% of women today consider themselves as the main income earner, 74% of males currently feel the same way.

Roy Morgan research industry communications director Norman Morris says, “Whether this stems from the fact they don’t know how much their partner earns, a sense of denial among those who no longer work full time, or simply the result of outdated gender preconceptions would require further research.”

"With International Women's Day this Wednesday, 8 March, it is an opportune time not only to draw attention to continued gender inequality in the workplace (particularly where salaries are concerned) but also to reflect on improvements to this imbalance," says Morris.

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