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Are You Unknowingly Creating A Gender Pay Gap?

By Sonya Buck, Australia



The Australian Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) advises the difference between men and women’s average fulltime weekly earnings at 17.7 per cent.


However, the biggest pay gap is at managerial level, where women are paid 26.5 per cent less than men.



One of the many reasons why women earn less has recently been provided by Harvard University. Harvard’s research suggests that men are better negotiators with their pay than women and that women are seen as aggressive rather than assertive if they try and negotiate their salary level.



How does your workplace sit in relation to equal pay? Do your male and female employees who carry out exactly the same role, to the same high standard receive different salaries?



The disparity in pay may be influenced by men working longer hours and being rewarded for it. Should remuneration be determined this way particularly when working longer, does not always mean working smarter or efficiently? In this case, maybe productivity is the true measure of an employee.



Revisiting your performance review process to ensure it is transparent will assist you to make sure there is no gender bias and is a good first step.



Compare salaries for men and women upon commencement, yearly and on promotion to analyse where gaps exist and if they are justified.



Take a look at your flexible work arrangements and see if they are available to all employees.



Ensure you a measuring level of responsibility and working conditions consistently and job descriptions are accurate.



If your salaries are not sourced via awards, check out remuneration for similar roles online in order to benchmark against industry standards. Remember to check for any salary differences for businesses located in regional areas.



Check any overtime or shift arrangements are available to both men and women. Don’t forget to make sure all employees have equal access to training.



Some of your management team’s thinking may need to change. It may not be found in the company’s formal policies, but if your managers are not hiring women of child bearing age or are making disparaging remarks about women’s ability to perform a role as well as a man, it’s time to drag these dinosaurs into the 21st century.



We all agree that men and women should be paid and promoted on merit, therefore having the right performance review process and policies in place will promote gender equity in your workplace.



If you would like to strive to be a Workplace Gender Equality Agency preferred employer, information can be found on Also visit Fair Work Australia online to ensure you comply with current legislation.