Gender Pay Gap In Australia

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Describe and an analysis of the Australian employment market?



The Workplace Gender pay gap actually stands for the difference between the average monthly income of all males in a society and average monthly income of all females in a society. The difference actually states the non-alignment in payments to the employees on the basis of gender. The recent analysis of the ABS or Australian Bureau of Statistics earning data has conveyed that the distance between the gender wage gap in Australia has been rising from the last decade. It is been observed that the gender wage gap was brought down to 15.1% in February 2005 due to government interference and non-profit organization participation. However the gender wage gap has been again on the rise in the recent years, which is 18% in August 2014. This has brought a point of concern for the government agencies and an alarming condition for the non-profit organizations (ABS, 2014).

Literature review:

Organization Behavior:

There exists a deep relation between the organization behavior and wage gap. Wage gap or inequality in payment on the basis of gender has found in various organizations around the world. Not only in the underdeveloped economies but also in various developed economies this problem has been prevalent. Women in the organization are often discriminated on pay and are even under represented in the senior management. This way not only the wage gap but the authority gap has also been found in many organizations (Bakker & Schaufeli, 2008). This organization behavior of paying low to its employees especially women employee can be mainly be due to the reason that they are male dominated organizations. Thus the males in these organizations find it difficult to help their respective egos understand that the female can perform well and even better than them in the organization. Due to this reason that male high level executives may not like to add a female executive or high level officials near their seat. Although this is an old and not so regarded conception, but it still prevails in the mind of many people (Trickey, 2011).

There are various factors that affect the organization behavior towards the increasing gender pay gap in the present day world.

Factors contributing to pay gap:

1. There are various factors that are contributing to the widening pay gap on the basis of gender which are stated as below.

Old thoughts and misconceptions:

2. The old thoughts and misconceptions about the women ability to work as against the men ability has resulted in the rise of problem of direct discrimination. Some organizations inherited by old people and low values still consider that offering job to a women is a kind of favor to them and that they should be paid as per their sweet will.

Undervaluing women’s ability:

3. In some countries the women earning is considered not so important as compared to the earning of their male counter parts. The women doing the same work and giving equal outcome and results are still paid lesser than men. This factor is remains prevalent even if the women are more qualified and have better skills and talents than the male employees. This way the women ability to earn is undervalued on the basis that they don’t need money to run their daily home expenditures and that the men have more responsibilities than women (Burrel & Morgan, 1992).

Support male ego:

4. Discrimination is most of the time observed to be made to support the male ego that women cannot earn more than men. Not only that the women are not offered high positions in the organization so that the male employees do not feel humiliated. Not only that at home also a woman earning more than male is considered a shame for male. Thus to support the male ego the present day set up of pay gap on the basis of gender has been on the widespread.

Education path selected:

5. Women mostly select those educational streams and subjects that ends up making a professional career that does not has much scope for promotion and development. Mostly women avoid taking mathematics, engineering and computing. These are the present day hot subjects that could help in making millions. However these subjects are not selected by women during their education period as they are not very much concerned toward making a career. Thus they don’t possess any technical or scientific qualification and ends up doing assistant level jobs in sectors which pay quite less.

Difference in parents outlook:

6. In many countries the girl child is educated just for the purpose of learning and not for making career. On the other hand the male child is educated so that he could end up in securing a good earning job so that he can support the family expenditure. The result is that girl child is not given a specific career making direction which leads to ending up mostly as housewives. Some women who look for job mostly includes those who want to support their family after marriage but until then they had lost the opportunity to learn technical skills that could secure her a better job than just of assistant or secretary levels (Waite et al., 2009).

Difficulty in managing private life and achieving work balance:

7. Women are blessed with the opportunity to give birth. But the same opportunity works as an obstacle when they have to find their career and involve in the career growth activities. For instance a married woman will have to look after home, husband and even kids. This result in increasing so much work pressure on her that she could hardly manage to concentrate on her work and achieve a work life balance. This way the ever increasing responsibility of the women after marriage results in decreasing her ability to manage job and home along. This affects her ability to perform well and secure higher prospects in job (Kramar et al., 2013).

Women mostly present in lesser marginal productive jobs:

8. Women are mostly hired in the marginal less productive jobs such as assistant, secretary, typist etc where they are not linked with any sales target or goal achievement which could result in increasing their pay as per their enhanced performance. Men on the other hand takes into hand a more competitive and high demanding jobs where they can give good time and efforts to build up their career which is not possible for the women.

Social setup, natural issues and problems:

9. The social set up is mainly a male dominated society where the women have to fight to find their space and respect. Due to the natural outlook women find it difficult to move around so carelessly in even remote areas and late timings as men do. Also the after marriage health issues and changes that may develop also affect the ability of a woman to perform as equally good as before marriage.

Greed of the employers for profit maximization:

The employers are very much aware of the fact that the present day women has similar or even higher abilities and skills to perform better than women. They are by no way less in proving their commitment and fetching results for the organization. Still with the greed to earn extra profits they bring in pay gap in application on the basis of gender so that they can save money and earn more profit. Women are actually lesser pay sensitive than men because when they work they are backed by responsibilities which forces them to stick to even the low paying job. This way the employer takes advantage of the women’s showing lesser sensitivity to the pay and fixes lower pay scale for them.

Significant in some industries than others:

Women mostly work in the lesser productive jobs that leads to the low prospects of rising pay and getting pay hikes or promotions. Most of the women in the present day world takes charge of employment when they are forced to support the financial conditions of their family. This mostly occurs after marriage. Until then the opportunity to get higher education and learn technical skills wither’s away. Thus they have to compromise to work on a low paying job which has no definite productive output as such. This includes the secretary job, assistant job, typist job, receptionist etc.

Some women who can avail the chance to get higher education and better skills are not supported by their families as they are considered to study for the purpose of learning and not doing jobs later on. This lack of counseling in women results in making them short sighted about their career and hence they don’t concentrate on getting higher education. The result is than when they are to apply for job they are not ready with high technical skills as engineering, software designing etc which forces them to end up doing a compromised and low earning job (Burrel & Morgan, 1992).

Women mostly work in health, education and public administration sectors. There the productivity of work is lesser and the greed of the employers is so high that they are offered substantially lower pay. Some women would not even mind doing cleaning, care work and other low paying work just because they have responsibility to provide financial support to their family but lacks the skills and abilities to secure a better and technically skilled job just because they were not counseled well during the education period (Fisher, 2006).

Present day scenario and outcome of pay gap in Australia:

In Australia, the pay is actually calculated on the full-time weekly basis which excludes taxes. Also the overtime work and salary sacrificed is not calculated. The part time workers are not considered in these calculations as their ability to earn and the amount they earn are both not consistent. In last decade the pay gap on the basis of gender has risen subsequently in Australia. It has raised from 15.1% in 2005 to 18% in 2014. This shows the increasing trend of pay gap on the basis of gender being followed in Australia. There are various reasons behind the fact that the pay gap is increasing in Australia. These are stated as below.

1. According to NATSE, 60% of the wage gap in Australia is due to the direct discrimination, which states that women are paid less just because they are women and they work in a male dominated society.
2. The wage fall takes place up to 5% when women return back from their maternity leave.
3. Women who prefer to care for the upbringing of their child for three years has to sacrifice 10% of their earning on joining back to the office.
4. Women are offered jobs in non-productive work. In Australia at present, 75% of women are hired in clerical and administrative jobs, 68% in community and personal service and 63% as sales worker.
5. The agreements made during job realization takes advantage of women insensitiveness to income which has resulted in bringing huge pay gap. As per the agreements, the women on average weekly basis earn $1173,00 as against men who earn $1469.90. This way the absence of bargaining ability and no support of any formal authority to fix the women pay scale has resulted in increasing pay gap in the country.

Benefit of declining gender pay gap:

It is been estimated by ABS or Australian Bureau of Statistics that if the gender pay gap is reduce by just 1% than the Australian GPD will grow by 0.5%. Also by making women pay scale as competitive as men would result in adding $56 billion to the annual GDP of the country. This is because of the fact that women save more than men. Even with the responsibilities and high expenditures they have a natural quality to save more than men. This results in improving the economic conditions of the country which has been dwindling since year 2008 that observed the global slowdown (ABS, 2014).


In conclusion, we can say that the rising issue of gender pay gap has resulted adversely in affecting the economy of Australia. It has not only disrespected the women’s ability to work and perform but brought into light the inappropriate employment activities that have been followed in the present day world to earn more money. In underdeveloped and non-developed countries the women pay and plight both are depleting due to the rising greed of the employers who do have old notions and low beliefs. It is therefore a black mark on the male dominated society to pay low to the women employees who might have higher abilities and skills to perform better than the male employees. In the developed economies the rising gender pay gap has displayed the incapacity of the capitalist society to give equal opportunities to women even after the application various government legislations and international laws (Wood et al., 2003).

Women in the developed and underdeveloped nations therefore have to compromise on doing a low pay job because they are to support their family expenditure. They are not given the right direction or support by the family members which results in declining their abilities and interest towards fetching more skills and higher education. Hence when they are married and have to look around for job they have to stick to the low paying job because of its non-productiveness and their inability to perform high skill job (Gibson, 2006).

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