Full-time female employees take home, on average, nearly $27,000 less than their male colleagues, according to the latest scorecard for workplace gender equality.
The data collected by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) — a statutory government agency charged with promoting workplace equality — covered 12,000 employers and four million employees.
It showed the average full-time female employee took home $26,853 less than the average male employee in 2015-16.
The disparity gets worse at the top level of management, with the salary difference rising to $93,884.
WGEA director Libby Lyons said recent research showed the main reason the gender pay gap was “bias and discrimination”.
“I think in 2016 we shouldn’t still be talking about a pay gap,” Ms Lyons said.
“But, I think that there are some positive signs on the horizon.”
The gender pay gap has narrowed 1.6 percentage points to 23.1 per cent.
“I think the obvious reason for the decline in the gender pay gap are the fact that organisations are recognising that this is a problem, that it is not fair that women are paid less than men and are actually taking their own action to do a gender pay gap analysis, and to sort the problem out in their own workplace,” Ms Lyons said.
“This year, for the first time, our data shows that over 70 per cent of employers have policies in place to improve gender equality.”
Five out of six CEOs are men
Ms Lyons said one of the most disappointing findings was the small number of positions women occupied at the top of businesses.
“We still see that five out of six CEOS are men and three out of four board directors are men,” she said.
“I think what we have to do is get women into the pipeline that feeds management.
“There is another encouraging piece of data that’s come out of this and this has shown that women, for the first time, were 42 per cent of promotions and appointments into managerial roles.
“So, that means we are actually creating the pipeline into management and I think that in the foreseeable future we will see that number of female CEOs and senior managers increase.”
Ms Lyons will addresses the National Press Club on the issue at 12:30pm AEDT. You can watch live on ABC TV and ABC News 24.
Featured image via iStock.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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