Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Australian Women Short Changed

I am pleased to launch government research today which provides vital new evidence on the gender pay gap and how it affects senior business women
The Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) Gender Income Distribution of Top Earners report investigates pay disparity at senior levels in the top 200 companies on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX200).

According to the report, female CEOs earn two thirds the median wage of male CEOs and female Chief Financial Officers and Chief Operating Officers earn just half the median wage of their male equivalents.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data reveals that a full time working woman will earn, on average, 84 per cent of a full time working man’s wage.

While the average gender pay gap is well documented, this new research shows that pay inequity is far reaching and experienced by senior business women, including Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of large Australian companies.

This new research is further evidence that from the moment a woman enters the workforce she is likely to earn less than her male colleagues; regardless of her career, industry or level.

The Rudd Government recognises the importance of women’s participation in the labour market to Australia’s productivity and global competitiveness.

The Government also recognises the importance of paid work to the independence of women and the security of their families.

Labor has always been committed to reducing and ultimately eliminating the earnings gap between male and female workers.

We’ll start working on this by abolishing Work Choices and restoring fairness in our workplaces.

The Government will also help ease the pressures on working mothers and their families by delivering a comprehensive work and family plan which will include:

  • better quality and more accessible child care;
  • more family friendly workplaces including the right to request extra parental leave and flexible working conditions; and
  • the establishment of an Office for Work and Family.

Please go to the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency website to download a copy of the report