Australia still has a lot of work to do on workplace equality. The latest data shows that our gender pay gap has now blown out to 18.2% — but despite that, less than a quarter of Australia’s biggest employers have done analysis to check for gender pay gap issues.
How do we know? Workplace gender reporting requirements — requirements that Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick has called “absolutely critical as a piece of gender equality machinery in this country”. But now they’re at risk.Yesterday the government said they’re considering allowing changes to these reporting requirements – and big business groups are already lobbying hard to have them watered down, if not abolished entirely.
The media have already deemed this one of Prime Minister Abbott’s “first major tests as Minister for Women”. Can you help show him that Australians won’t stand for attacks on workplace gender reporting provisions?
The Government has tried to change these gender reporting provisions before. Early last year they announced a proposal to wind back the reporting requirements. Then, a massive public backlash forced them to step away from most of the proposed changes. This time, key business groups are out in the front of this lobbying and PR battle — which means showing the government this issue will cause voter backlash is critical. Can you help sign and share the petition on this issue now?
Want to know more about gender reporting? Here’s a quick 101:
- Right now, under the Workplace Gender Equality Act, any Australian employer with more than 100 staff is required to collect and report important data about gender in their workplace. This includes things like: women’s representation, gender pay gaps, and flexible working arrangements.
- The most recent (and first) data from these reports showed that:
- The gender pay gap in our largest organisations sits at 19.9% for ‘base remuneration’ and 24.7% for ‘total remuneration’ (once you incorporate things like bonuses).
- The representation of women in our biggest businesses steadily declines when moving up the management levels, with women making up just 26.1% of ‘key management personnel’, and 17.3% of CEOs.
- One-third of our biggest employers have *zero* women in ‘key management personnel’ positions.
- Less than one in four of our biggest employers have even conducted a gender remuneration gap analysis.
- The data collected through the workplace reporting has been described as a “game-changer” by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.
Having good data on issues is critical to understanding, and addressing them. As senior business leader Jon Williams, from PwC has said: “If we are serious about addressing gender equality in Australia, we need data”.
The most recent data on workplace gender equality (or more accurately, the lack thereof) has shown just how far Australia still has to go on this issue, and if we’re to ensure progress, maintaining gender reporting will be critical.
Can you join the call for Prime Minister Abbott – as the declared Prime Minister for Women – to ensure workplace reporting requirements don’t get watered down? Click here to sign your support now.
Thanks for all you do,
Renee for Fair Agenda
1. Women earn less than men as gender gap grows, News.com.au, 15 August 2014. Australia’s gender equality scorecard, Workplace Gender Equality Agency, November 2014.
2. Pressure over gender reporting laws, Australian Financial Review, 6 February 2014.
3. Gender reporting shaping up as a real test for Tony Abbott’s as the Minister for Women, Daily Telegraph, 14 January 2015.
4. Australia’s gender equality scorecard, Workplace Gender Equality Agency, November 2014.
5. PwC survey shows strong support for gender reporting, Workplace Gender Equality Agency, 2014.