The Times They Aren’t A-Changin (enough)

It is past time to value women’s work equally
by Eliza Littleton and Greg Jericho

This report examines the barriers to closing the gender gap by reviewing Australia’s position within the industrial countries of the OECD. The report also uses data from the ABS and the ATO to highlight gender disparities across all levels of income, ranges of occupation and ages, as well as disparities regarding who undertakes the greater share of unpaid work.

One clear concern is gender segregation, where either men or women dominate an occupation or industry. Men have higher average salaries than women in 95% of all occupations, including those where women dominate the workforce. For example, women account for 99% of all midwives, and yet are paid on average 19% less.

We identify 80 occupations in which men make up 80% or more of the workforce; these occupations have an average salary above $100,000. In contrast, no occupation where women make up that share of the workforce has such a high average salary. This highlights how segregation has reinforced massive differences in pay.

The report recommends policies to promote greater access to childcare and parental leave for both parents, family-friendly work practices, and the lifting of wages for industries dominated by women – most urgently in the care sector.

Full report