Fair Work Decision - One Small Step in Closing Gender Pay Gap

Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) Director, Helen Conway, applauded Fair Work Australia’s decision to boost the remuneration of community and social services sector workers, but said there is still a long way to go to eliminate the gender pay gap.

“Fair Work Australia’s decision will benefit some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged workers in our community – the majority of whom are women – however the gender pay gap is still a persistent problem across a range of industries and this is totally unacceptable in 2012,” Ms Conway said.

“Regrettably, at 17.8 per cent, the current gender pay gap is about the same as it was 25 years ago and this has serious financial implications for women, most particularly in relation to their retirement savings. It is especially concerning that women are two and a half times more likely to be living in poverty in their old age than men.”

“The Fair Work decision is one small step towards achieving recognition for roles that have been undervalued in the past, however other sectors dominated by females are still underpaying their workers.

“Gender pay equity can be a difficult issue to address and EOWA is committed to assisting employers to take action to achieve equality. We have a suite of resources and information on our website to help employers address this problem,” said Ms Conway.

“The Fair Work Australia decision is a step in the right direction, but there is a lot more to be done to eliminate the gender pay gap once and for all.”