New Australian Bureau of Statistics data on Average Weekly Earnings for May 2023 reference period released today confirms the persistent gender pay gap, with women’s average weekly ordinary time earnings at $1,897.70 (public sector), and $1,605.30 (private sector) compared with men’s earnings at $2,122.90 (public sector), and $1,905.00 (private sector).
The data also showed that the gender pay gap between men and women in average weekly ordinary full-time earnings for May 2023 was 13.0 per cent, with the overall gender pay gap in Australia at 22.8 per cent.1
Australian women on average earn $26,596 less than men each year and are also more likely to work in casual and part-time roles compared with men.
“It’s a disgrace that we still have a gender pay gap in 2023. Every day, countless women across Australia find themselves in a situation where their hard work is not rewarded with equal pay compared to their male counterparts. It’s just not good enough,” said Jessica Rudd, CEO of The Parenthood.
“Australian women are being set back by systemic and structural inequalities that keep them from accessing the same remuneration, recognition and opportunities as men.
“One of the key solutions for addressing the gender pay gap is creating a universal early learning system and reforming paid parental leave.
“Whilst expanding paid parental leave from 18 to 26 weeks by 2026 is a step in the right direction by the Federal government, it is still short of the 50+ weeks that families in other development countries have access to.
“Increasing paid parental leave to adequate levels will enable more women to re-enter the workforce after having children and will enhance gender equality through the redistribution of unpaid care.
“Reform to give parents greater flexibility of paid parental leave will improve sharing of care responsibilities towards young children and encourage men to be active fathers. It’s good for dads, really important for children and helps bring women and men closer to true equality.
Ms Rudd said that early learning reform is vital for giving mothers of young children the opportunity to work.
“Only 56 per cent of women aged between 25 and 40 with children are in any kind of paid work in Australia, with most of them working part-time. Some of our most skilled and qualified workers are unable to work because they can’t afford or access childcare.
“The national gender pay gap will not be eliminated in this generation unless we establish a universal early learning system, similar to Medicare, and improve paid parental leave.
“Extended paid parental and a universal early learning system is a legacy building change, one that increases workforce participation, transforms the life of parents and families and prepares our next generation for a life of learning.
“These are the policy changes necessary to close the gender pay gap and make Australia the best place in the world to be a parent and raise a child. It's an audacious goal - but it's worth fighting for,” Ms Rudd said.