24th Aug 2016
ACTU report: gender pay gap alive and kicking
ACTU report: gender pay gap alive and kicking

Think women have reached financial equality with men? Think again. According to workforce diversity specialist Conrad Liveris, men are still being paid an average of 20 per cent more than women for the same jobs.

Far from showing signs of abating, Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) research shows that the gender pay gap has, in fact, been steadily increasing over the last decade.

In March, the ACTU released a report, Gender Pay Gap - Over the Life Cycle, stating that “Australian women are financially disadvantaged at every key stage of their life”. This includes in childhood, the workplace, through pregnancy, motherhood, as a caregiver and in retirement.

The report found that despite women making up 42 per cent of the workforce, they currently earn 17.2 per cent less than men.

This is true of women performing the same jobs as men (even within the same companies). Top accounting firms including PriceWaterHouseCoopers, EY and Deloitte have been found to pay men and women differently for the same positions, with the pay gap ranging from one to five per cent.

“Even at their highest level, at the partnership level, they were finding about a 5 per cent gender pay gap in a like-for-like basis,” Mr Liveris said.

However, the problem is widespread across numerous industries.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows this equates to an average pay gap of almost $500 per week between men and women.

“In 2016, the findings in today’s report are just overwhelming,” said ACTU President Ged Kearney. “Young girls are still disadvantaged, women in the workplace are presented with constant barriers and older women face a poor retirement, possibly a retirement into poverty.”

Read more at abc.net.au.

Opinion: Equal pay starts at home

A US Pew Research Study published last Wednesday revealed that more than half of men believe gender discrimination has mostly been eliminated. However, the financial inequality of women, evident in the above data, is just one example of how this belief can be disproven.

Over the last decade, numbers from the ACTU show that the gender pay gap has grown from around 15 per cent in 2004 to a record high of 18.8 per cent in 2015 before dipping in 2016. Perhaps most surprisingly, Australia has dropped in the Global Gender Gap Index, from 15th place in 2006 to 36th place in 2015. This places us below some developing countries, such as Rwanda and Mozambique.

How can we tackle the financial inequality experienced by adult women when we are neglecting it in girls? In addition to the 17.2 per cent gap, the ACTU’s report shows the gender pay gap begins early in life, with girls receiving 11 per cent less pocket money than boys.

And despite the fact that girls consistently out-perform boys in many of the key achievement indicators at school, and that more girls than boys complete secondary school, less than one in 20 girls will consider a career in science, technology, engineering or maths. This may be due to pressure to engage in traditionally gendered interests.

Looking at the data, we can conclude that chief to the issue is that women’s work is less valued than men’s. One example is the lower rates of management positions given to women. According to Mr Liveris, sexual discrimination is still a concerning aspect in the workplace, with only about a 20 per cent of rate of women in management.

“If he (a male account manager) is taking bigger projects, for example, they're viewed more favourably, but she might be doing smaller projects that amount to a really similar effort or financial return for the organisation; they're just not valued equally,” Mr Liveris said.

The ACTU’s suggestions for tackling this rising pay gap include:

  • A government funded parental leave scheme of 26 weeks paid at no less than the national minimum wage plus superannuation;
  • Fifteen hours of free childcare for every child per week for all families;
  • A right to request flexible work arrangements that clearly set out an employer’s obligations to properly consider and make reasonable efforts to accommodate requests.


What do you think? Have you experienced the gender pay gap? What reasons can you suggest to explain the rising gap? Do you think pay inequality of girls starts from a young age?

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    COMMENTS

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    MICK
    24th Aug 2016
    10:11am
    The normal sexist article from you Amelia. Never a proper examination of the facts. That would be an inconvenient thing to do.
    I support equal pay but do not support all the outs women have for childbearing and associated things which take them away from their jobs. It is inherently unfair on men that women can, should they so choose, flip in and out of the workforce demanding equal pay as they cause havoc in the businesses they are employed in. That is the issue and women need to choose, not demand.
    I have a daughter who is in management and she takes her job very seriously. Others should too. And your feminist views on life need reality Amelia as the great push by women in all areas of life today often avoid the full facts or the responsibility of looking fairly at anything other than their objectives. God help us all if women get to run the world. But then men have not done such a wonderful job either.
    It is sad to see that Germaine Greer and her hate message has infected so many women. A bit of reality and the fairness women routinely demand may be needed in the female view of the world as well.
    Tom Tank
    24th Aug 2016
    11:55am
    So narrow minded a comment.
    Old Man
    24th Aug 2016
    12:03pm
    Mick, I couldn't agree more strongly. I note that most, if not all, of this article seems to focus on the salary and conditions of people in management. There is a huge number of people who are not in management but the writer, and the ACTU, has apparently chosen to ignore these workers because it may not suit their argument. The average wage earner is on an equal pay rate regardless of gender although there is a difference in amounts earned as men generally choose to work overtime. There may be a number of reasons for this including (ducks head to dodge missiles) that the woman needs to go home to support the household.

    The management people that this biased article is championing overlooks an very important factor. Those in management generally negotiate a salary package rather than accept a set amount as a wage earner would and it appears that women will accept a lower rate than men. Now, whether a higher rate is offered in the first place has not been addressed but I think is an important factor in this discussion. If a salary package is agreed to surely it can be said that both parties are content and if one person has better negotiating skills than another then so be it.
    Brissiegirl
    24th Aug 2016
    12:20pm
    If women are good enough, we get the rewards. However, women are in and out of the workforce with little regard for employees who have to juggle everything to suit their "rights" and demands. I heard a small business operator whispering to a colleague he will never, ever employ women. The last woman took paid maternity leave "entitlement" so he trained an enthusiastic male to take her place on a temporary basis. When the woman returned to work, she only stayed three weeks then gave notice. He had lost his hard-working temporary to another company and was therefore left in a right royal mess. By virtue of our biology our attitudes to home-making and child-rearing make us unequal with men on the reliability and physical strength scale. Get over it.
    JAID
    24th Aug 2016
    12:43pm
    I don't see it as narrow-minded Tom Tank. It is simply a call for clear and objective analysis.

    Mick and most people I know firmly agree with equal pay for equal work. It is fair, appropriately egalitarian; the only way liberty should ever operate.

    We all know that workplace work and workplace pay is not equal in many ways. Forget gender for a moment. Even at high levels of return for time invested there is a huge gap between for example the incomes of dentists and general practitioners...do you really think that dentists have trained harder, retained more knowledge or indeed do a harder job? No, they train less probably need less knowledge and perhaps the only thing more difficult than general medicine in their vocation is the concern as to what to do with the extra income. Income by the way which has come from actively limiting university intake thereby the numbers spat out into the industry. That has changed in recent decades but it did cause the initial post-war change from being able to tie a string onto a door knob or stand the sight of blood.

    Professions, management, trades and menial occupations all show various degrees of response to demand rather than actual input. The worst awarded true traditional profession pays about 10% of that of the best rewarded, carries arguably much greater responsiblity, requires greater creativity, longer study and longer admission time, yet there are masses of takers.

    It may be tempting to say that this all spells out a basic problem with capitalism. It may be but capitalism is inherently self balancing as to supply and demand. Sometimes it moves quickly sometimes more slowly. Sometimes the balance is tipped by simply the delight in doing the job. There is a glut of designers and too few plumbers.

    Since the mid-seventies, government has slowly worked toward elimination of unfair trading (such as industry control of university output, industry price fixing or monopoly.) This has lowered the capacity of some industries to self protect but I have no doubt it is appropriate to the consumer and general good.

    If we look at government as an alternative to capitalism we do see rates of pay balanced between industries, gender; probably also capability and intellect. Rates of pay except at the leading edge of demand (top managers, dentists etc.) are markedly higher than can be paid by any but the most advantaged private industries. These industries are often those required by legislation. Yet, also obvious is remarkable waste, huge investment in mechanisms to control that, considerable downtime requred to ensure even-tempered work loads and worse, as almost a side-effect, an ever increasing onus for reporting and compliance and a destabilising effect upon industry.

    Supply and demand does not rule under these effects. Where supply and demand does not rule, capitalism fails. The only substantial mechanism we have to resist failure under this irresistable force is our benificent homeland under low population and our capabilty to dig it out of the gound and flog it off.

    Back to gender specifically. It seems likely true that despite balanced pay in government controlled areas many women are still underpaid compared to men. Ranting about that is not going to fix it. Voting in trendy blocks never will. Only real knowledge of actual work can approach that.

    Fairly clearly and for whatever the reasons, most men and women work differently. I will never respect their private agreements as rational input into the equation. If a male or female wishes to look after the child that is their business. However, workplaces have different levels of appeal and differently respond to the ways each gender may prefer to work. If anything is most causative of a differential it is probably this. A round peg in a square hole.

    In my opinion, in our social capitalistic democracy, that will be most appropriately fixed not by dictate but by supply and demand. Demand for labour or appropriate labour will lead to the supply of workplaces to suit their preferences.

    That cannot be hard. In the sixties, I think everywhere except in the single gender primary and high schools, males achieved higher. In my class the top achievers were boys about the 5th a girl and the next girl came a few steps down the list. That did not reflect capability it reflected the method of teaching. Now look, in any list of achievement you may well see a few boys at the top but the top few percent will have more girls than boys. Look also at the universities. The mode of teaching has changed and the balance has changed. It may need re-balancing a little but this is a far more appropriate mechanism than a dictated approach where demand and changing capability is not reflected.

    We are different, you and I, girls and boys, all of us. Don't try to push us through the same hole.
    TREBOR
    24th Aug 2016
    1:00pm
    Exactly what I said thirty plus years ago.
    MICK
    24th Aug 2016
    3:15pm
    Good post JAID.
    For Tom's information my daughter is a highly paid employee who is headhunted all the time. She is not being discriminated against......but then work is her life and she is not in and out of the workforce suiting family needs and personal needs. That is where the action is. Just ask Gail Kelly who resigned as Westpac CEO not all that long ago.
    I suspect your post Tom is more in the realm of political correctness and the current female orchestrated media wave washing over the nation. A grain of salt is always useful when this sort of thing happens.
    Gra
    24th Aug 2016
    4:23pm
    One only has to click on the DATA link in this article to see how flawed this article and the report are. It appears that no consideration is given to seniority, qualifications or gradings. To simply compare males and females doing the same job without considering other factors is of course going to give skewed results.
    You get a male and female with same level of service, same qualifications and same grading in the public service and they will get the same salary. If the male finishes with more dollars in his pocket at the end of the year it is because he has done paid overtime.
    Cautious
    24th Aug 2016
    10:12am
    Distortions and incomplete facts is what I think.
    Go off your brain if you like. Anything can be done and is being done with statistics. Manipulation and deception is being used for an agenda.
    TREBOR
    24th Aug 2016
    3:02pm
    As I've said elsewhere - this beat-up has been going the rounds for years through successive Labor and Liberal governments etc - and thus far nothing has ever happened to change it, and the whole issue remains what it is - nothing but an emotive nonsense used as propaganda and as a tool of division in an already fatally fractured society. The reason nothing has changed is that there is nothing to change.

    Perhaps we need to take a long, hard look at why there is such a screeching agenda of dividing men and women against one another here.
    Rocky
    24th Aug 2016
    10:30am
    I think the unequal pay thing is in the corporate world not the everyday jobs I've worked in hospitality all my life and male and females got paid the same I always paid my staff the same in the restaurant and when I worked for someone else we all got paid the same according to your position and experience eg the Chef got paid the most because he had all the responsibility
    Adrianus
    24th Aug 2016
    11:52am
    Rocky, I think you are missing the point. It's not about same pay for same work. It is an overall average. Income is lower for women because they work fewer hours. How do we address this inequality? I suppose one way is to pay women a higher hourly rate?
    Old Man
    24th Aug 2016
    12:05pm
    Oh Frank, I see your tongue is firmly planted in your cheek. Surely you are not trying to bait other posters?
    Cautious
    24th Aug 2016
    12:29pm
    Rocky I think you nailed it.
    The "solution" to the superannuation problem is to give women more.
    So getting more is somehow "equality"?
    The issues that cause having less superannuation are a choice.
    How about choosing not to have children?
    Ouch the abuse screaming at me is deafening.
    The choice is a family one.
    In my/our day we chose to have children knowing it was going to cost money.
    Yes strange as it seems we KNEW it was going to cost money.
    If I had four kids I would have less savings than the guy who had two kids.
    The decision is a family decision, as I said.
    So between the two of you albeit the woman be the main breadwinner she may end up with less super than the man.
    Wait but you knew that, right?
    So why is it a crime?
    The kids came along and it was all factored in.
    Someone now tell me, no I know you'll do that, convince me that I am being sexist.
    MICK
    24th Aug 2016
    3:19pm
    Yeah Cautious it's a tough balance for the ladies. What we all need to remember is that women have a call on HALF of their partner's superannuation these days so the real issue is if women do not marry or live with a partner.
    The idea that you can get a fairer outcome by unfairly attacking other people is a bit of a red herring and usually only engenders anger and resentment.
    As Malcolm Fraser once said "life wasn't meant to be easy". It isn't.
    Rae
    25th Aug 2016
    8:03am
    Plenty of women have careers and families and balance that using just the maternity time allowed which includes superannuation.

    If women need more then saving to pay for it might be the way to do it. Or a loan and pay it back. Kids cost a lot of money.

    If the industry doesn't have that then form a collective and agitate for better conditions. And sort out the current childcare rorting going on.

    If women need to stay home for months or years and not work then of course they won't have money or savings during that time.

    It is a lifestyle choice with consequences.

    Not a taxpayer responsibility.
    Rocky
    24th Aug 2016
    10:34am
    Just a PS about when I was young my sister and I got the same amount I think it was about 20 cents a week we didn't do any jobs for that around the house so I think it was fair
    KSS
    24th Aug 2016
    1:08pm
    Isn't pocket money a matter for the parents? And in most cases isn't one of those a woman? So who should we blame if her daughter gets less pocket money than her son?

    Oh yes that's right. The Father!
    Blossom
    24th Aug 2016
    10:42am
    Some employers take into account the chance that they are possibly going to have to pay maternity leave + employ another person to do the work+ their super, workcover etc. Employer workcover bill doesn't reduce while a person is on leave.
    TREBOR
    24th Aug 2016
    1:05pm
    One of the pitfalls of the current demands by women's groups for all that free time. Business simply cannot afford it, and they know it.

    You may call it discrimination if you wish, but until and unless women get rid of their breeding imperative, this will not change.
    Cautious
    24th Aug 2016
    11:10am
    Are you being paid less than a male counterpart Amelia? The best negotiators I know are women. Are you really saying that women let this happen? I doubt it.
    I know what is coming at the end of this today.
    A tyrade from women claiming that those who disagree with this sexist artical are sexist.
    MICK
    24th Aug 2016
    11:20am
    Seems to be the way of the world. Women are increasingly unhappy about everything.
    The phrases 'common sense', 'fairness' and 'responsible behaviour' seem to be absent from arguments mounted by many as they wail endlessly about what they are not getting whilst at the same time ignoring the reasons why there is a difference. AS one poster said above differences in pay seem to be in the corporate sector. The public service, from what I understand, is equal in all ways other than men getting repeated time off for family matters.
    Old Man
    24th Aug 2016
    3:21pm
    Mick, I worked with women and the workplace had an annual reporting system where, if a report was OK, an annual increment was approved. I had quite a few women who couldn't understand that when they returned from 12 months maternity leave that they had slipped behind others, both male and female, who were equal in pay when the maternity leave commenced. No amount of explaining that they hadn't worked, therefore couldn't be assessed for a pay rise, seemed to placate them. It seems that not only do some women want the benefit of maternity leave but they want promotion without doing anything to earn it. I hesitate to post this because a union member might try and incorporate promotion without work as an award condition.
    Gra
    24th Aug 2016
    4:32pm
    Mick, don't you mean "other than women getting repeated time off for family matters". I didn't see too many of my male colleagues getting time off but the women were frequently taking days off to look after little ones.
    MICK
    24th Aug 2016
    9:47pm
    Not berating child duties. Just making the case that equal pay demands are fair as long as women do not expect quite preferential treatment. It gets up the noses of men when a case of do as I say rather than do as I do.
    TREBOR
    24th Aug 2016
    11:47pm
    They've already had 35 years of preferential treatment under EEO, including in schooling, Mick.

    I'd like to know, as the child of a crazy family that sent me to school starved, without shoes and books and pencils etc, and warm clothes etc - when I'm going to get MY 'equal employment opportunity' instead of having to work my guts out for it.

    The girls who receive 'Equal Employment Opportunity' have never missed a square meal in their lives - and often they marry and thus benefit all ways. What amazes me about "EEO" is that rather than being a tool to benefit women overall - it primarily benefits the women in 'traditional' relationships first and foremost - not least because they fit two groups - women and those from a non-English speaking background (etc).
    Not a Bludger
    24th Aug 2016
    11:25am
    Outstanding - who would ever think that an ACTU report would conclude otherwise and to boot want to spend more of my taxpayers money on more free welfare - what a load of rubbish.
    Adrianus
    24th Aug 2016
    11:45am
    Its not rubbish if it gets votes. I'm sure there are many voters who would vote Labor for a few bucks.
    TREBOR
    24th Aug 2016
    1:07pm
    They would, Frank - this is a vote-catcher pure and simple and tn utter denial of simple realities. The thing is - after the dumb votes are caught, nothing will change at all, for the simple reason that under no pay scale are women paid less, and everybody knows it.

    Nothing but a cynical exercise in catching the votes of those with little to no idea, but hopelessly driven by rhetoric and emotive outbursts.
    TREBOR
    24th Aug 2016
    1:32pm
    This guff has been pushed by Labor and the ACTU for ages now - yet not one thing has changed.

    Anyone ever ask why that is? Because the reality is not consistent with this rhetoric, pure and simple, and at the end of the day - there is NO answer other than to accept that women on wages/scaled salaries are paid for the work they do, and those on negotiated salaries have as much difference in income as men do from other men in the same position.
    MICK
    24th Aug 2016
    3:21pm
    And vote Liberal for unfair tax cuts (for them). Horses for courses Frank.
    Adrianus
    24th Aug 2016
    3:28pm
    Absolutely TREBOR. It gets rolled out here every 3 months. Bank Bashing is a similar sport.
    Bill Shorten was asked at the Press Club today, "why have a RC into Banks?" "What do you hope to achieve?"
    He just ran the same lines.....Banks make big profits, CEOs get paid very well, but C/Card rates are still high? Do you think that's fair?
    David
    24th Aug 2016
    11:29am
    Equal pay for equal work is fair enough.
    So why do female tennis players get the same prize money as male tennis players at the Australian Open when females only play the best of 3 sets compared to the men playing the best of 5 sets?
    GeorgeM
    24th Aug 2016
    1:49pm
    Good point, David, have thought of the same point myself.
    A lot of good comments above from various people about the clear bias of Amelia and ACTU about how to justify more hand-outs of taxpayer's money. Statistics can be used to justify anything - but your point about Tennis prize money shows how the so-called strive for equality of wages has gone too far.

    I haven't seen any sex-based discrimination for wages or for selection to senior roles in my 30+ years in private industry here (and Govt employers promote women even more). The real issue of discrimination I have seen is widespread racial bias - one can see how major US companies such as Microsoft & Google have Indian-origin people as CEOs but there are no such serious examples here, whereas there are heaps of companies with women (as well as Gays) as CEOs. So, let's be clear where the focus should be.
    MICK
    24th Aug 2016
    9:48pm
    Careful...,you may be accused of having a set on the lovely ladies. Chuckle....
    David
    25th Aug 2016
    2:55pm
    Thanks for your responses George and Mick.
    It's no surprise that only males have responded to my comment.
    I would be convinced that women were really fair dinkum about 'equal pay for equal work' if they argued for fairness in pay where men are disadvantaged.
    In my tennis example, even if the women played 5 sets or the men played 3 sets, I still think that the men should get more prize money as their standard (ie work performance) is higher.
    Ted Wards
    24th Aug 2016
    11:34am
    Here we go again! Men giving their opinion and if women dare to respond we are feminists. As a woman who chose not to have children and have worked over 30 years without a break in many different jobs and some in different industries, yes it is alive and well.
    Here is an experiment. Go to one of the compare super sites and enter your details as a man. Note the benefits costs etc. Then enter your wife or partner details, regardless of whether they have worked or not and enter the same information you entered as a male and compare the results. You might be quite surprised at how much less a woman will be entitled to compared to the man. Then try it on insurance sites and travel insurance sites and so on. You'll find women pay more as well. The way I find out was when I was doing my income protection policy a few years ago now, I accidentally left male checked and at the end I got a figure which I went wow thats reasonable. When I reviewed to make sure I had everything correct, I noticed my error and changed it. The premium went up by nearly $300. Keep in mind I'm in my 50's and can no longer have children and never had them, what is the explanation? I dont have any pre-existing medical conditions nor do I smoke and I keep fit. Im sure some of you will say its not true but out of curiosity I did it again this year when I purchased a yearly travel insurance policy as I travel a fair bit. Same thing happened again. This time there was $45.00 difference in the male favour.

    One issue is that its not only pay differences there are quite a few areas where figures are based on gender apart from lifestyle choices, aged etc) and if we are really serious about there being no gender inequality then we need to get rid of the gender bias, and just have one rate based on levels or experience etc, whatever your award bases the pay levels on. My opinion is that it should be experienced and qualifications, skill based and nothing else. If you go to uni to do a degree etc you do the exact same study, the exact same assessments and so on. There is no gender bias other than who they let in to which courses in the first base.
    Not all industries base wages and salaries on gender but as this article pointed out, its the corporate world they examined and you would have to be blind not to notice what is going on. Its quite simple, gender bias is illegal yet it is still allowed to occur. Whether you like it or not something has to be done about changing laws so there is equality. Its not a matter of being a feminist or anti-feminist and so on. Its a fact that the inequality laws must be enforced to the enth degree!
    Seeker
    24th Aug 2016
    11:48am
    Yes! Thank you Ted Wards! Even though I am one of those awful women who had all those "outs" that women have for childbearing... according to Mick (thank goodness men don't have to do that!) Wow! That is just an insult to motherhood.
    Cautious
    24th Aug 2016
    12:35pm
    Ted do the maths.
    If you are going to live 5% longer your dollar per year is going to be about 5% less.
    TREBOR
    24th Aug 2016
    1:15pm
    Sorry to break your apple cart, Ted - but it seems to me that shoe is on the other foot - starting with the absurd subject matter, with its incredible lack of factual basis and amazing assumptions.

    It is the MEN who are being lambasted as some sort of oppressive pigs here - even by insinuation.

    I guess that's what happens when you allow the ACTU to have a woman President. BTW - isn't it time that was changed? Hasn't she had the sweet ride long enough and had enough time to continue to push this nonsense?
    TREBOR
    24th Aug 2016
    1:26pm
    Oh, and BTW - until be artificially shoved into a barrel of misogynist monkeys, as the only means of discourse from the 'feministed' lobby - all my comments were balanced and factual and contained not one iota of anti-woman rhetoric.

    If you would prefer that we go at it hell for leather and simply declare a war between the sexes - let me know.

    On that last note, I will add that all this war-making from the feministed lobby is the direct cause of much of the current climbing casualty rate in domestic violence, murders and suicide. While ever you encourage one side to be 'discontented' without valid reason and push the other aside and bully that side by declaring open season on it - you are declaring that it is open season on all.
    MICK
    24th Aug 2016
    3:26pm
    Ted: it seems to be open season on men by the female dominated media crew again. Try turning on Channel 9 and finding a man around. Rare!
    There are a few more issues here than simple equality and men are normally cast as the villains whilst women are the victims. A familiar storyline.
    ex PS
    26th Aug 2016
    9:10am
    Ted Wards did what you suggested and compared female input and payout with my Super provider. Result absolutely no difference, I suggest you change your Super Provider.
    Adrianus
    26th Aug 2016
    9:28am
    Ted Ward, please take note of the post by Cautious. There is a lot of truth in that. It is a little rich of you to claim that all insurance companies are anti women? Their actuaries are only interested in the maths.
    Cautious is right about the potential liability being higher for women because the life expectancy is higher. Therefor the premium should be higher. Nice try though.
    Heskwith
    24th Aug 2016
    11:44am
    Thanks for the article Ms Theodorakis, much appreciated.
    Its points are well amplified by the general tone of comments hereunder and in November (women in poverty). Their general hubris demonstrates clearly what women and other detested groups are up against in trying to live their days without want and harassment.
    I well remember years of underpaid overtime, and the unequal regard.
    KSS
    24th Aug 2016
    1:03pm
    I am just as sure there are men who "well remember working years of unpaid overtime (and still do)" too.

    Equally sure there are many men who would love to live their days "without want or harassment" too.
    TREBOR
    24th Aug 2016
    1:17pm
    Grasshoppers - the victimhood is strong in this one.... standard response to any factual rendition of the realities that women on average work fewer hours etc.

    Argue the reasons for THAT in isolation if you wish - but nowhere is there a wage gap, though there are always income gaps. If one tradie works ninety hours a week and another fifty, and they charge the same rate - there is an Income Gap - but no 'wage gap'.

    Pure and simple.

    This entire argument is nonsense.
    MICK
    24th Aug 2016
    3:35pm
    The public service has had equal pay for at least 40 years from memory. Your lament Heskwith seems more like the general moan from the ladies and you would be well advised to name the employers who are ripping women off and shame them. That is the way to go.
    On this topic I would like to ask women generally why prostate cancer, which kills as many men as breast cancer does women, is mentioned maybe once a year in the media whilst breast cancer gets an ongoing regular commentary. Talk about fairness needs to embrace ALL areas of life.......and don't get me started on job discrimination where men are locked out. Blatant....but no mention of these industries by women who complain about unfair pay.
    Sorry to be negative but wrong is on both sides but what we see in the media is a one sided attack on men whilst women do not wrong. That is unfair and you might like to run a balanced discussion on that point. Poor Amelia is of course unable to do this and almost all of her articles are around the same 'women discriminated against' theme. That is not real life.
    Adrianus
    24th Aug 2016
    11:47am
    I'm suffering from some financial inequality but my real problem is that I cant find a minority group to join.
    KSS
    24th Aug 2016
    12:22pm
    Stick with it Frank. Won't be long before simply being male will get you into the minority group you seek.
    TREBOR
    24th Aug 2016
    1:18pm
    Already there, KSS - it's just that most men have yet to realise that they've been cut out of many, many workplaces over the years and thus have been created anew as 'equal'.
    roy
    24th Aug 2016
    1:25pm
    If you are male, white and not on Centrelink you are already a minority Frank.
    Adrianus
    24th Aug 2016
    3:19pm
    I spent a lifetime trying to be different. Seems strange that I may have wasted all those years and the energy trying to be different and unequal. How was I to know that things would turn around and I would need to be in an unequal group to become equal? I feel like a failure but I'm now too old to change. This equality thing is a lot harder than it may first appear. I was just thinking about King Charles Stuart 2nd the "black boy" of England. Was it his idea to appear as a "white boy" in photos in his quest for equality?
    MICK
    24th Aug 2016
    3:38pm
    If you wanted to be different Frank you'd join the One Nation Party. That way you avoid left and right and are batting for the coal industry. Sounds like it may just be right up your alley.
    Financially deprived? I think not. Ex MPs are pretty well looked after but the rest of us. Just ask Bronney.
    Anonymous
    24th Aug 2016
    3:40pm
    A bloke named Michael Jackson tried to change colour Frank and I don"t think he was that keen on women either
    Adrianus
    24th Aug 2016
    4:07pm
    I don't get this colour thing. I really don't. If you throw a banana at a football player it's now racism. If you're a Brit and you go on holidays, come back with a tan, your friends will say you look great with colour. If you're Chinese and you go on holiday your friends will say wow you look great, you look so pale. You must have had a great time! I think Happy people are those who accept the facts. If you're a woman wanting higher income then it is your choice.
    Rosret
    24th Aug 2016
    12:36pm
    I don't agree that this is a sexist article. I am, however, perplexed at the continued comment that woman get paid 20% less for the same job. This is Australia, we are on award rates or are these people on contracts?
    Men are far better at negotiating higher wages and they see a "right" to the mega $m salaries you see CEOs receiving. When woman dominate a category of work the overall salary will go down - that is medicine, law, accounting etc. Women are more inclined to accept what is a fair salary. Unfortunately it leads to oppression and on a tiered salary basis those at the lower salary end become even lower.
    We also have a culture of "the loud mouth" gets the promotion. When we start looking at who does the job best, who is the most organised, who can motivate others, who isn't a bully then no matter whether they are male or female - they are our leaders.
    TREBOR
    24th Aug 2016
    1:21pm
    You are discussing the very vast difference between pay scaled salaries, such as the public service etc, and negotiated salaries.

    I worked with Jack Thompson on a movie once - he was very well paid - I got Equity rate. See the difference? In Hollywood I'd stand in a line and virtually beg for one line - Tom Cruise will state how many millions he will accept for the movie.

    You cannot compare these things with 'wages'.
    ex PS
    26th Aug 2016
    9:19am
    Rosret, your last point got my attention, I have often been amazed that the person who spends the first hour of the working day telling everyone how busy they were seems to get promoted and those who get in, get their head down and actually are productive are often overlooked. The compensation is that those who fake it while trying to make it most often get found out and are eventually kicked to the curb.
    It may take longer for the quiet achievers to get to the top, but when they do they tend to stay there. Unfortunately some of our best people are never recognized for the talent they have simply because they see it as unseemly to brag or make a fuss.
    Adrianus
    26th Aug 2016
    9:44am
    Rosret, I agree with exPS. Whether you're male or female we all get as far as we can go. In many cases proving validity to the Peter Principle. My experience is that women have an advantage in the "looking efficient" stakes. Who would you say looked more efficient and effective Rudd or Gillard? And yet they were found to be as bad as each other.
    KSS
    24th Aug 2016
    12:58pm
    I am getting really fed up of these 'reports' that keep placing women as 'victims' of the male fraternity. Frankly if educated, work experienced, women in managerial or executive positions in the private sector cannot negotiate a 'better' deal, then perhaps she doesn't deserve to be there. All other sectors covered by award scheme already have equal pay rates.

    The ACTU's demands may have more credibility if they were not so obviously excluding the same benefits to men. And do they really expect people earning high salaries to also get 15 hours of free childcare a week? Tell me again what was the ACTU's opinion of Mr Abbott's 18 weeks paid parental leave proposals? And now they want 26 weeks? Plus super (fine of course if you earn the national minimum wage but if you don't - what then? The woman is still 'disadvantaged' because not only is her salary lower, she still won't accrue as much super.) More flexible workplace for parents? What about those in the same workplace who have to constantly pick up the slack when the 'parents' take time off for some kid related matter? Who compensates them? They don't get extra payment for doing more work. Is that 'equal opportunity'?

    What about the singles who have to work on every holiday period so those with families can have the time off? Is that 'equality'? Why are there so few men in childcare centres or as primary school teachers? Quote: "This may be due to pressure to engage in traditionally gendered interests." Or more pointedly the fear of being accused of sexual abuse of children!

    Having gaps in work life due to childrearing (or caring for other family members) is a decision the woman and her partner/husband makes. THEY need to consider the ramifications of having children including the shortfall in super, BEFORE they go ahead and have children. Why should others have to constantly pay for their private and personal decisions and worse, be disadvantaged for NOT having kids?
    MICK
    24th Aug 2016
    3:44pm
    My daughter is in the group you mention KSS and she is paid well. The lament we are reading about here is the same as the welfare debate where we have people always demanding more and never being happy with enough. No mention of public service jobs in the article. I wonder why?
    You highlight the reality of life and the 'poor women' lament ignores many issues including the equal sharing of superannuation between men and women should they split.
    This appears to be just a push to get the snout in the trough and I would like Amelia to mention the industries where women are discriminated against on pay. That'll never happen.
    TREBOR
    24th Aug 2016
    12:59pm
    For the umpteenth time - there is no 'gender wage gap' for the exact same work - women on average work 20% fewer hours than men do. I've shown you that in the 2011 Census men worked an average of 42.5 hours a week and women 32-odd - which amounted EXACTLY to the INCOME DIFFERENCE of women receiving 78% of men's incomes.

    This has been explained to you over and over again, and yet this myth still persists.

    If you continue to disagree - what is your solution? We pay women 20% more per hour than men for the exact same work? We make sure women get all the top paid jobs to 'balance' things out? We force 50% of women in every pay scale?

    Let me know when you work it out.
    MICK
    24th Aug 2016
    3:45pm
    Ditto TREBOR.

    Amelai: PLEASE DIVULGE THE JOBS WHERE WOMEN ARE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST.
    sooty
    24th Aug 2016
    1:17pm
    Join a union and have your say instead of saying nothing the complaining when the conditions you receive are not up to that which others receive
    roy
    24th Aug 2016
    1:23pm
    Join a union and then strike and help to ruin dear old Australia, makes sense, not. Bill Shorten would be proud of you.
    TREBOR
    24th Aug 2016
    2:32pm
    *yawns mightily* - show me where all the strike action is going on, fred....

    Please Explain?
    MICK
    24th Aug 2016
    3:47pm
    Good call sooty. That is one of the main functions of unions and women need to use these to gain justice. I suspect however that the issue being whined about does not really exist these days....but wait to be convinced. Fire away ladies. Industries/jobs/difference in the pay rates. Let's go.
    roy
    24th Aug 2016
    4:33pm
    Try the Gold Coast, the Commonwealth Games sites for starters.
    ex PS
    24th Aug 2016
    4:36pm
    sooty, well said, I was involved in the Union movement at a workplace level for decades, the biggest whiners were the ones who were anti-union, they were more than happy to take the wage rises and improved conditions but in the main part would not take strike action because it cost them money or worse made them unpopular with the bosses. These people were always quick to join the Union when they got into trouble and needed someone to save their jobs for them, it never failed.
    I only ever met one Union detractor who showed any integrity, she actually came into work on Labor Day as she did not believe in Unionism, she refused to join a Union and resolved to pay the equivalent of her fees to charity, this woman had class. The rest of them were of a caliber that most Unions would not want anyway as they showed no loyalty to the workers around them and little moral fibre.
    roy
    24th Aug 2016
    4:40pm
    TREBOR, if you can stop yawning mightily long enough , google strikes Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, that's if you can stop yawning mightily long enough. Rather childish of you.
    TREBOR
    24th Aug 2016
    9:01pm
    Lemme get this right - the contractor refused to sign the new agreement, as negotiated with the help of the Fair Work Commission etc, as required - thus triggering a response from the Unions to force him to do so - and it's the Union's fault?

    Gold coast bulletin? They've published stories about me, and facts are like hen's teeth amongst their rhetoric - AND they refuse any opportunity to view hard fact as written on documents.

    Hardly a good paper to get information from.
    TREBOR
    24th Aug 2016
    9:05pm
    Oh - and Peter Beattie cops a nice little sweetener on the side running the show.

    Who ever said politicians 'need' a pension for life after leaving public office? Plenty of work out there for politicians prepared to put in a hard days sitting down.
    roy
    25th Aug 2016
    9:58am
    TREBOR, so you managed to stop yawning mightily, well done. Are you a blood brother of that well know union bully boy Bill Shorten. Google his past re bullying and people voted for him, sheesh.
    TREBOR
    25th Aug 2016
    10:28am
    Read you lines, fred - the contractor refused to sign the new agreement.

    The headlines should be reading :-

    "Rogue Contractor Precipitates Industrial Unrest on Commonwealth Games Site"..
    .... not the nonsense that Unions per se are bullying the poor little fellow. That's where reality and spin become confused for so very many.

    I vote for NONE of the major parties, have stated my areas of disagreement with each times many, and am intent on a new and valid party for Australia, and it ain't Hanson, neiver, mayte.
    TREBOR
    25th Aug 2016
    10:33am
    You seem to think that a contractor refusing to abide by the rules and demand something else more beneficial is in no way 'stand-over' - particularly since that contractor has the hands on the cash reins in the business (HELLO!) - and yet any Union response to that refusal by that contractor is 'thuggery' and 'stand-over' and 'taking unfair advantage of the project and its dire need to the public'.

    I can clearly see which is the thug there, fred, and it ain't the Union. As a past Union delegate, I can assure you my chosen approach would be to sit down like adults and negotiate - not play push-and-shove around the sandpit - but my experience is that it is management who refuse to do that.

    Nobody is demanding anything here but the signing of a negotiated contract - the contractor is refusing to do that and has caused the whole problem.
    roy
    25th Aug 2016
    8:16pm
    Are you saying that Bill Shorten and his ilk have never been union bully boys, I hesitate to say he is filth, but.
    Watto
    24th Aug 2016
    4:03pm
    Here we go again. Whinge Whinge Whinge
    ex PS
    24th Aug 2016
    4:20pm
    I was in the workforce for forty years, I worked alongside women for most of those years and can not remember one instance of working alongside a women who was paid less for doing the same job. I have worked in commercial bakeries, food processing plants, building supply companies, military, hardware industry, trucking, factory assembly lines and the Public Service, and have not experienced one example of a woman doing the same job being paid less.
    If we are making the claim that overall women are paid less because they leave the workforce in order to have children, that is true and has to be taken into account, but to make a sweeping statement that generally women are paid less than men to do the same job is misleading and patently untrue.
    It gives an impression that women are being victimized by uncaring men, men who for the most part work huge amounts of overtime or take on second or third jobs in order to make up for some of the shortfall of wages created when women have to give up work to have and bring up children. They also receive welfare payments from the government.
    To the best of my knowledge in most cases women make a conscious decision to have children nobody forces them. In this case they have made a free choice decision to go down a certain path and therefore must accept the good and bad conditions of that decision.
    If we impose unfair conditions of employment on those who choose to employ women the consequences will be easy to forecast, fewer women will be employed. The decision to have children impacts on the whole family not just the woman involved, any discrepancies in the ability to add to things such as Super are addressed when the Super is accessed as the woman has access to the husbands pension income.
    Any comparison done in relation to men and women's income should be strictly on hours worked and wages received for performing the same tasks, any other equation is fanciful and inaccurate.
    TREBOR
    24th Aug 2016
    8:57pm
    You raise the point that when a woman in a committed relationship takes time off for children etc - the extra load is taken up by her man. Same thing with super and the never-ending whine that women have less super than men - EVERYONE gets the super they get from their work and contribution into a fund - and in an established relationship that super is split between the two on parting.

    Not only that, but MORE women inherit the total family assets, including super etc, on demise of their man than men do.

    Country coastal towns where you can buy a house for $250k or so are filled with older single women who slip into the Ario and throw $5 a shot at the pokies.
    Boof
    24th Aug 2016
    8:25pm
    I agree wholeheartedly with Mick. Stop this ridicoulous rubbish. If women, or men are good enough & have the right credentials, they will get the job. If not. Stiff. Give us a break.
    mudGecko
    24th Aug 2016
    9:41pm
    Boring! This is just the regular whining from the perpetually unhappy. Like all sensible people, I support equal pay for equal work. However, as a man who saw the first wave of government-mandated women displace men in the trades, I have NEVER seen them do anything like the same work as the men they forced out! After the celebrity status wore off (this was way back when newspapers would carry articles and photos of the then-novel "women-in-overalls" type) they then went about posing and flirting with the boss to avoid getting their fingernails dirty until they could get married; then time off to have babies.

    This is the absolute truth of the matter, but the truth is certainly not the waffle of the leftist narrative which is the current fashion of most of the media.
    Seeker
    25th Aug 2016
    11:41am
    Yawn...!!
    TREBOR
    25th Aug 2016
    2:44pm
    Experienced the 'gender wage gap'? Of course - at age 32 after creating entire systems used to this day by government agencies - I was shoved aside from a position I was set for, to make way for an 18 year old girl with no experience and no performance to date to get a promotion to 'equalise' women in the CPS.

    How's them apples? And you can shove your affirmative action and now pay compensation.
    ex PS
    26th Aug 2016
    9:36am
    Having been in the service for twenty years I have sat on a few selection panels and have seen many instances where equality legislation was put into practice and have seen many stuff ups because of it.
    First up you would think that if you were looking to employ or promote someone to a specialist position, you would have people on the panel with some experience in that field. Not so, we have gender equity to satisfy so why not have a Manager of Office Admin on the panel, someone who knows nothing at all about the skills require , does not think it is a requirement to follow the guidelines set by the content expert and awards points just because an applicant answered the question confidently. This is regardless of the fact that the answer given was exactly opposite to the response required and would have put the organisation in jeopardy of facing a law suit.
    We had ludicrous situations where a weighting had to be applied to an application purely because an applicant was female. This led to occasions where we had applicants who had years of experience, had a proven track record in the field and were the obvious person for the job, being beaten out by less experienced unproven applicants.
    If you want to have a system where a certain section of the workforce is given an unequal advantage so be it, but don't pretend that it leads to a system where the best person for the job gets it.
    Erf
    25th Aug 2016
    4:00pm
    Dear Amelia Theodorakis..please refer to the Fair Work site which contains the Industrial Awards applicable to workers in Australia. Carefully study the Awards..When you have finished it would be appreciated if you would tell us in which awards show different rates for men and women. Best of luck!! Erf
    MmtuMoja
    25th Aug 2016
    5:27pm
    I am an ICU nurse with 3 post graduate qualifications (I paid between $8.000 and $17,000 for each one and passed them all at levels equivalent to high distinction). If you end up on the receiving end of ICU care you will be totally reliant on mostly female nurses to care for you, including running the very complex ventilator, dialysis, ECMO and other assorted technology you may be attached to. We will be the ones key to identifying if things are going wrong and contacting the doctors (who generally visit once a day unless we call on them). For this professional work most of us get paid less than well qualified and mostly male plumbers, carpenters, mechanics etc. Don't lecture me about discrimination or for that matter unconscious misogyny, it's endemic in Australia and 50% of the population should be making more of a fuss about it and I'm not talking about the women!
    Adrianus
    25th Aug 2016
    8:38pm
    MmtuMoja, are you saying that your job needs more financial recognition? Or you are getting paid less than your male peers?
    ex PS
    26th Aug 2016
    9:40am
    MmtuMoja, are you saying that a male who is working next to you and doing the same job is being paid a better hourly rate than you. If so you have a case and should go to the anti discrimination commission, or if you are lucky enough to access and have joined , to your Union.
    JAID
    28th Aug 2016
    5:41pm
    Frank and exPS have a point MmtuMoja. Females may still be the most highly represented in your occupation but from the outside at least we see many male nurses.

    I suggest that you on average are more highly qualified than the average plumber but that isn't really the point is it? Fewer seem to want to do plumbing; it is a dirty job. It is also a job in which there is no bar to females.

    As it stands, occupations where large proportions are employed by government, whether actually in government employ or not, have wages underpinned by government pay rates. These are generally much higher than can be afforded by private enterprise, leastwise small businesses and those not in fields required by legislation. Nursing, teaching, police, fire fighting and the like are all in this field. Taking teaching, most start on $70,75,000 straight out of training, an unheard of amount even for most professionals starting out. Become the leader of a discipline in your school or add a post graduate degree and $100 K is not unusual. These figures may not be high amongst CEO's but they are common in few professions and trades. Yet, if you are a truck driver in some outback mine you will make more and perhaps plumbers may do a bit better. I have not come across too many female plumbers but there are female truck drivers around the place.

    For high income, male or female, you need to live in rarified air (or be prepared to breathe foul air as do the plumbers) but govenment underpinned occupations are a good start.
    Boomah52
    29th Aug 2016
    8:18am
    Worked in local government and everyone, male and female was paid on the same level. I was given a level increase due to work innovation and winning several awards. I may point out I was the only male in our section. A new female team leader who some how got the position over me saw this and behind my back had everyone elevated to my level. Could you tell me what this is?

    Also you should realise that education is a source of revenue and often all these bits of paper were once gained by on the job training lol.
    ex PS
    29th Aug 2016
    9:56am
    Boomah52, I worked in TAFE for a while, they had the greatest lurk ever, training was included in every EB. Every employee was entitled to have a set amount spent every year on training. Bet you can't guess who provided the training? Some of the courses were absolutely useless and some not even remotely connected to the tasks performed by the employee.
    MD
    26th Aug 2016
    8:21am
    Easiest way to address this imagined inequity - simply reduce all male remuneration to established female figures ($ btw, less). Can you imagine the screaming & chest thumping (alpha males ie, although nowadays more than a few gels as well.)
    THEN - when the ladies require time off for 'secret women business' (or any reason whatever) and their fellow workers are required to pick up the slack, till such time as the absentee deems fit to return (job guarantees aside) - remunerate the workers that carry the extra burden (the claimed) difference: everyone's a winner. After all, doesn't the absentee receive parental leave payment, or special leave payment or compassionate payment or sick leave or stress leave ?
    How about we simply leave this issue alone, get on with it and be bloody thankful for the mere privilege of having a job, not to mention the lurks and perks and shilly shallying jerks that pamper to the poor defenceless victims of birth !
    ex PS
    29th Aug 2016
    10:08am
    I have a deep and unsettling belief that once we arrive at a situation that requires all of the inequalities perceived or real to be taken into account when addressing remuneration packages, a certain section of our society will become unemployable.
    Market forces will always show the way, if it is perceived by the buyer that a certain product is more expensive than a same or similar product they will choose the more cost effective product. Those that don't will suffer for it on their bottom line.
    Be careful what you wish for, you may get it.
    Adrianus
    26th Aug 2016
    8:35am
    I had a look around to find evidence of the unions claim that women are underpaid and can only think of the Chiquita Mushrooms example. Four women who worked as mushroom pickers told the royal commission into union corruption they were kept in the dark about an employment deal Labor leader Bill Shorten oversaw that lowered wages in return for unusual payments to the union he led at the time.
    ex PS
    26th Aug 2016
    9:42am
    Mushroom pickers, kept in the dark, was that intentional, it certainly made me chuckle.
    MD
    26th Aug 2016
    5:20pm
    Yeh, thought the same thing meself ex PS. Dare I say we need to feel our way carefully on that one.
    roy
    28th Aug 2016
    10:32pm
    Bill Shorten is filth, no doubt about it.
    Adrianus
    29th Aug 2016
    7:16am
    exPS, you don't need to keep the workers in the dark about secret deals between unions and employers. But it is important to brush off the compost. I saw a lot of that stuff at the RC into union corruption.
    ex PS
    29th Aug 2016
    9:59am
    Yes it does seem that there is an awful lot of muckraking going on and not all of it on the farm.
    ex PS
    29th Aug 2016
    10:24am
    PS, who can argue with such an eloquent and well thought out statement as "Bill Shorten is filth, no doubt about it" such well thought out prose leaves me speechless, and I would venture to say, it has certainly convinced me that Union bad, Banker good so vote LNP.
    That is until some political genius comes up with a literary gem like "Tony Abbott is a rabbit, he beats pensioners out of habit" and then I will have to change my mind again and vote ALP as the logic is just so strong.
    And I can't wait to see some prosecutions come out of the RC, for both accepting and giving bribes. Pity it is seems more important to protect the bribe givers than to prosecute the bribe takers, wonder why that is? Maybe because the bribe givers are also political contributors.
    And while we are at it let''s have a look at the secret deals between the government and the company that runs the Manus Concentration Camp, you would be brushing more than compost of that one.
    Adrianus
    29th Aug 2016
    11:41am
    I'm sorry exPS, what does "the Manus Concentration Camp" have in common with "women still being paid less than men?" Did you mean to write that?
    Oliva
    5th Oct 2016
    12:12pm
    Equal Pay for Equal Work and Perks-Men should get Paternity Leave and all the other extras in the name of equality. Also women are not well-represented in the high pay work sector. I fear they go for the soft jobs....hence the soft pay.


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