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Pop the champers ladies, it's Equal Pay Day! (You'll want to be drunk for this.)

It’s Equal Pay Day! HOORAY!

If you’re thinking that means we have reached gender pay equality, then think again! Pigs can’t fly yet.

Equal Pay Day – organised by the government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency — marks the day since the end of the financial year when women can claim to have earned the same as men.

That means since June 30 it has taken women on average about 70 extra days (or 40 working days) to catch up.

Just digest that for a second.

This perfectly demonstrates how if we keep going the way we are going, women are in for a lifetime of inequality (yay!). We’ll be facing a similar situation next year. Because we are already two months behind.

via GIPHY

We keep on trucking, because we are absolute champs.

But this is an important reminder to keep fighting for pay equality and urging our business leaders to admit there is an endemic problem that desperately needs rectifying.

Equal Pay Day is calculated based on figures by the Australian Bureau of Statistics putting our nation’s current gender pay gap at 16.2 per cent –  a difference of $261.10 per week.

It’s narrowed slightly from 18.5 per cent in November 2014.

As Minister for Women Michaelia Cash has pointed out: “While this is a promising improvement, we have a long way to go.”

WGEA director Libby Lyons has seized on today to, once more, call for action from employers. Without it, we are missing out on huge benefits to both businesses and society.

“The persistent gender pay gap is a symbol that women’s potential is not being fully realised or valued in the workplace, at great cost to individuals and the economy. It is beyond time to change that,” Ms Lyons said.

“Over a lifetime, compounded by time out of the workforce due to caring responsibilities, the gender pay gap contributes to greatly reduced lifetime earnings and retirement savings. On average, women retire with just half the superannuation savings of men.”

two women drinking champagne iStock
Cheers to nothing. Picture: iStock.
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And here are some more stats to chew on. In ASX 200 organisations, the gender pay gap is a staggering 28.7 per cent. Superannuation balances for women at retirement is 52.8 per cent less than men's. And the portion of female CEOs is at 15 per cent.

Ms Cash said figures for female employment levels were at a heartening an all-time high, it was essential to "address unconscious bias which impacts on gender participation."

She added: "Businesses should have a clear picture of how their employees are remunerated to ensure they are not unknowingly contributing to the gender pay gap."

Ms Cash highlighted some initiatives the Turnbull Government was taking, including investing $13 million to get more women into science, technology, engineering and maths careers, boosting the superannuation of women who have taken time out of work via a tax offset and aiming for to reach a 50-50 gender representation on government board positions.

WGEA says the gender pay gap is influenced by a multitude of factors:

  • ’ women and men are concentrated in different kinds of jobs leading to industry and occupational segregation
  • ’ earnings differences between male and female-dominated industries and occupations
  • ’ under representation of women in senior positions
  • ’ the distribution of unpaid caring responsibilities
  • discrimination and bias

On Equal Pay Day, the agency is urging all employers to address gender pay gaps and support women’s participation in the workforce as well as progression into senior and non-traditional roles.

So while you bosses out there get to work on that, I'll be here, sipping on my glass of Yellow.

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