South Australia and Queensland lead the way in closing Australia’s gender pay gap

South Australia and Queensland lead the way in closing Australia’s gender pay gap. Based on data gathered over a three-year period of contractors’ annualized earnings, research by Talent shows that SA and QLD have narrowed the gender pay gap among IT contractors. This news comes at a time when pay transparency and a commitment to closing the gender pay gap are identified as top priorities for women in Australia on the lookout for their next employer, as revealed in a 2024 report by Work180.

While it’s important to note that contractor pay rates are commensurate with experience, factors such as motherhood and the career gaps that come with it have put women at a disadvantage in this regard, leading to fewer women in high-paying STEM roles. Employer discrimination during the hiring process also contributes to this disparity.

As of now, the gender pay gaps per region in Australia* are all in favour of men, as follows:

- SA – 4.55%

- QLD – 7.78%

- ACT – 9.49%

- WA – 18.57%

- NSW – 21.45%

- VIC – 21.83%

*based on gross monthly remuneration for FY23

Pay disparities across different industries are also influenced by societal factors such as ethnicity, parenthood, and marital status, contributing to the struggle for gender equity and female representation in management roles. This holds true even for industries and companies with a high percentage of female workers overall.

The average pay gap by industry (in favour of men) for FY23 was as follows:

- Government – 5%

- Education – 10%

- Hospitality – 11%

- Infrastructure & construction – 13%

- Utilities – 15%

- Professional services – 18%

- Financial services – 24%

- Healthcare – 24%

- Technology – 26%

- Transport – 35%

It is also worth noting that the national average and median gaps for gross monthly remuneration were 21.53% and 27.43%, respectively, in favour of men.

In conclusion, while there has been progress in narrowing the gender pay gap among IT contractors in SA and QLD, the gender pay gap remains a persistent issue across various industries in Australia. It is crucial for private sector employers to prioritize pay parity to support the cause of gender equity and promote a more inclusive and equitable workforce.

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